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Telecommunications: Lithium and Silicon

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 2294, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the silicone and lithium shortages on UK telecommunications supply chains; and what steps he is taking to secure UK silicon and lithium supplies.

Answered on

20 May 2021

Government works in collaboration with the telecommunications industry to enhance its resilience through the Electronic Communications Resilience and Response Group (EC-RRG). We will continue to keep the availability of raw materials in the supply chain under continual review with industry partners, as we do for all issues that may affect resilience of UK telecommunications networks and services.

In the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy published in March 2021, the Government’s priority actions to 2025 include diversifying the UK’s supply in critical goods, such as medical equipment and rare earth elements, through trade partnerships and international collaboration. Within the UK, the Government will continue to explore opportunities around domestic extraction and processing of critical minerals, such as lithium, as well as their recovery, recycling and reuse to establish a viable circular economy. Demand for these materials is global and the Government is working to ensure supplies remain sufficient for the UK economy.

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