Whitehall Dialogue - Priorities for UK Defence in a Time of Uncertainty

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A presentation by the Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, recently Chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee.Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP

Reflecting on his tenure as Chair of the influential House of Commons Defence Committee, James Arbuthnot will outline his thoughts on the challenges facing defence in the current strategic environment. He will examine the changing nature of the threats to UK security and their implications for the structure of the Armed Forces that we require, as well as exploring the challenges of securing support for spending on defence in a time of uncertainty. As the UK draws down its forces from Afghanistan, he will also speak about the challenges of explaining the case for defence to a public sceptical of overseas interventions following the campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP served as Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee from May 2005 to April 2014. He was Minister of State for Defence Procurement from 1995 to 1997 and then when the Conservatives went into opposition became Opposition Chief Whip (from 1997 to 2001). He entered Parliament in 1987, following a career as a barrister. James has been the Conservative MP for North East Hampshire since 1997. After serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Archie Hamilton during his period as Minister for the Armed Forces, he became a Government Whip (from 1992 to 1994), then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security (from 1994 to 1995). After his service as Minister for Defence Procurement and Opposition Chief Whip he then became a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee (from 2001 to 2005). From 2003 to 2005, he served as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade. He was educated at Eton, where he was Captain of the School, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he achieved an Honours degree in Law. He was called to the Bar in 1975 and practised until 1992 in trusts, wills and tax law.

Refreshments will be served from 1515.

This event is ‘off the record’ and closed to the media.

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