Local MP and Veteran, Sarah Atherton, has welcomed the biggest funding boost to the UK military in 30 years – hailing the Prime Minister’s statement as a “a comprehensive plan to back our Armed Forces, and defend our people from new and evolving threats.”
Today (19th November) the Prime Minister announced the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War, giving our defence budget an extra £24.1 billion over the next four years. This both delivers and surpasses the Government’s manifesto commitment to exceed the NATO defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP - by providing an extra £16.5 billion in funding above their 2019 commitment.
Addressing the House of Commons Boris Johnson outlined the largest boost to our nation’s defence in the last 30 years, helping us build back better from coronavirus by creating thousands of new jobs and demonstrating to our allies they can always count on the UK.
Our defence forces are operating in a rapidly changing world. This spending increase recognises the need for them to undertake a generational modernisation programme in order to defend the UK, our allies and the world’s most vulnerable people.
Since the Cold War the threat from our adversaries has been evolving. Our traditional defence and deterrence capabilities remain vital, and our Armed Forces work every day to prevent terror reaching the UK’s shores. But our enemies are also operating in increasingly sophisticated ways, including in cyberspace, to further their own interests.
Rather than being confined to some distant battlefield, those that seek to do harm to our people can reach them through the mobile phones in their pockets or the computers in their homes. To protect our citizens, UK Defence therefore needs to operate at all times with leading, cutting-edge technology.
Local MP, Sarah Atherton, said:
“The British Armed Forces are the best in the world, and I’m proud that this Government is investing to make sure they stay that way.
As a member of the Defence Select Committee, I have been lobbying the Government for additional funding in the forthcoming spending review, so this announcement is very welcome. This will have a positive impact on Wales’ economy through the Defence industry supply chain, and will create an additional 10,000 job a year across the whole of the UK.
“The recent announcement also allows us to adapt and operate in a rapidly changing world, with the creation of a new National Cyber Force, that will better protect ourselves from modern threats online as well as in the real world.”
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said:
“I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first.
“The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies. To achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.
“This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”
The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said:
“This is excellent news for Defence, and provides us with the financial certainty we need to modernise, plan for the future and adapt to the threats we face. It demonstrates the Prime Minister’s recognition of how important Defence is to our resilience and to the reputation of the United Kingdom.
“This settlement secures UK jobs and livelihoods, allows us to invest in our fantastic shipyards and aerospace industry, spreading prosperity to every corner of the UK.
“Next year represents a huge opportunity for this country, and Defence will be at the forefront of creating the jobs and business opportunities that will help us build back from the pandemic.
“Over the next few months I will set out in more detail our ambitious agenda for Defence.”
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