UK proposes UKEF loan fund to spur defence & post-Brexit exports

(Jane's, London, 11 March 2020) The UK government is proposing to create a GBP1 billion (USD1.3 billion) fund to support British defence and security exports. The “facility” would be overseen by UK Export Finance, the country’s export credit agency, which gives loans to help foreign countries, especially those with developing economies, buy British goods and services. The proposed fund is included in the 2020 budget that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented to Parliament on 11 March. The budget also proposes a GBP100 million (USD128 million) increase for defence research and development to “develop capabilities in response to threats facing the UK, including funding for cutting-edge technology in aviation and space propulsion.” In addition, The Chancellor is preparing to boost post-Brexit exports for UK businesses by making £5 billion of loans available to UKEF in his forthcoming Budget. The Treasury said the money would help UK exporters to increase their global sales as Britain prepares for life outside the European Union, with the Chancellor helping to top up the purchasing power of those abroad by providing a competitive loan rate through UKEF.