Date: May 21, 2020
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauds outside 10 Downing Street during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, May 21, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instructed civil servants to make plans to end UK's reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports in light of the coronavirus outbreak, The Times newspaper reported on Friday bit.ly/2AIukv1.
The plans, which have been code named ‘Project Defend’, include identifying Britain’s main economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part of a broader new approach to national security, the newspaper reported, adding that the efforts are being led by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Two working groups have been set up as part of the project, according to the report, with one source telling The Times that the aim was to diversify supply lines to no longer depend on individual countries for non-food essentials.