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UK to reprioritise £1.6bn a year of R&D budget for defence

Image: Andrew Harker, via Shutterstock

Prime minister’s defence spending increase will not lead to a bigger overall public R&D budget

The UK government has said it will re-prioritise a big chunk of its R&D budget to go into military projects after the prime minister announced a rise in defence spending.

Rishi Sunak’s announcement this week that defence spending will go up from 2.3 to 2.5 per cent of GDP came with a promise to ringfence “at least 5 per cent” of defence spending for R&D, with an “additional 2 per cent of the defence budget” to support the exploitation of promising science and technology for military purposes.

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