Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps, addressed the London Defence Conference at Bush House today, emphasising the need for increased defence spending and stronger global alliances in response to imminent global threats from authoritarian states.

Shapps began by reflecting on the optimism of 2012, contrasting it with today’s more perilous global landscape. He highlighted the shift from a “post-war to a pre-war era,” pointing out that authoritarian states like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are increasingly collaborating and acting aggressively to advance their strategic goals.

“Ruthless rule-breaking, narrow self-interest, this time not just for sport but to advance their strategic, political and economic goals,” Shapps remarked.

Shapps revealed evidence of Russia and China collaborating on combat equipment for use in Ukraine, citing a 64% increase in trade between the two countries since Russia’s full-scale invasion. He also warned of malign activities targeting the UK, including cyber-attacks and intelligence operations.

In response, Shapps outlined the UK government’s commitment to defence, including a pledge to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030. He highlighted the UK’s substantial support to Ukraine, including the largest ever gift of military equipment and an increase in military aid to £3 billion annually.

“Our Royal Navy has intercepted Houthi drones and missiles in the Red Sea… our Royal Air Force has intercepted Iranian drones targeting Israel,” Shapps noted, emphasising the UK’s proactive role in global security.

Shapps also called for NATO members to increase their defence spending to 2.5% of GDP and urged European nations benefiting from NATO’s security to join the alliance. “When the bear is at the backdoor of European security we must come and stand together,” he declared.

In a forward-looking segment, Shapps announced plans to advocate for greater international cooperation at the upcoming Shangri-La Security Conference in Singapore, promoting the idea that “our security is your security.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_820855)
1 month ago

Won’t all this talk of higher levels of security and international cooperation in the sea, air and land areas, all need some more additional purchases even if just incremental? All has been said before, but ordering a few more T31s and an additional T26 while in build now would complement the MRSS and add to the RN’s presence across international shipping lanes and to counter the increasing enlarging Chinese naval fleet which at some point may become even more threatening and inhibiting current international trade routes. Obviously there’s a lot of everything else needed in other areas too.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quentin D63
Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_820983)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Shapps has said MRSS confirmed as up to 6, 3 for definite. We know we are not going for the Dutch mini thru’ deck design. So the question is are the 3 we are sure of replacing the Bays first or the LPDs and Argus? If its the former then we will get 3x LPDs/ LSD design – non complex warships – built abroad maybe? If its the latter maybe we will get 3x LHDs?

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Jon
Jon (@guest_821064)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

A Falklands veteran, Argus has been stretched by so many years, you’d have to think it’d go first, but just because we get three first, doesn’t mean all six of the old ones won’t go before we get a second batch of three. I think they’ll try and replace for the LRGs no matter what ships go when.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_821074)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes, that would make sense.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821225)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

maybe a spin on fitted for but not with. say hoped for but don’t get.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_820856)
1 month ago

“3 Billion annually.” I think that is more than some TLB areas in defence!
Why is that coming out of the defence budget and not from the aid budget?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg (@guest_820888)
1 month ago

Because the aid budget is all being blasted away housing illegal immigrants

George
George (@guest_820998)
1 month ago

It’s the Defence, NHS and other budgets being used to house and pamper the illegal invaders.

We desperately need a government that places British needs above all else. Setting priorities for who else we help and under what conditions. The Nepalese people being number one of that very short list.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821219)
1 month ago
Reply to  George

British is best, we just don’t believe it anymore and the nations leader should give it as high a profile that trump brought to the American people.

George
George (@guest_821289)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Yes, exactly. 100%

Jim
Jim (@guest_820889)
1 month ago

It’s coming out of both at the same time. They are double counting foreign aid and defence spending now. It’s anther amazing innovation of Rishi Sunaks, it’s on a par with paying people to go to restaurants in the middle of a Pandemic. Basically we are pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defence and legally required to spend 0.7% on foreign aid. But military foreign aid counts as both so we are actually spending more like 1.97% on defence with about 0.3% going to Ukraine so you get 2.3% on defence. Almost all other foreign aid is being spent… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_821049)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Nonsense. Everyone knows the civil service at the treasury will ensure things are posted to the correct account.

George
George (@guest_821058)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

😂😄😃hat’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. Cheers!

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821221)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

everyone who pays their taxes into our economy should know where their money is going I’d urge everyone here to look up how and where th foreign aid goes to. ditto the money from the BBC’S licence fees, which is a disgrace

George
George (@guest_820995)
1 month ago

That aid budget is the single most ridiculous item of national expenditure that we have. Without stating the obvious, again. It gives succour to our enemies when we should be exploiting their time of weakness. The terrorists of Gaza being a prime example.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_821050)
1 month ago
Reply to  George

I’m not sure George. I think there would be massive criticism if our forces were committed when we could have achieved the same with soft power.

George
George (@guest_821059)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I get that Mark but I’m not suggesting sending the troops in rather than humanitarian aid. For example in Gaza, giving very limited foodstuffs to Israel, so they can hand them out in exchange for weapons. Would have been a far better way to help. Benefitting our fellow parliamentary democracy while disarming terrorists.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_820900)
1 month ago

Unconvincing for Shapps to say that we are in a pre-war era now and to give firm examples, then to talk about only a future increase in UK defence spending.

If the threat is now, then increase defence spend now. Even then it takes several years after more money is voted in before new additional equipment appears.

Mark
Mark (@guest_820908)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well rumours are flying that Sunak is about to call the GE, so it wouldn’t matter then either…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_820933)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

It does seem likely. Cameron has cut short a trip to Albania and is returning to the UK.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_821016)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

,👍🤞

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_821173)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Thanks. [Don’t you wish you could get your US General Election over and done with in 5 weeks!]

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_821297)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sorry, the emojis were in response to your previous post re threat assessment, but yes, extremely envious of your short campaign seasons. By and large, the American electorate is engaged in determining the lesser of weevils. 🤔😳😱

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_821410)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Yep, I got that the emojis related to my non-politics comment. I like the ‘weevils’ comment – made me smile.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821035)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good morning Graham, I like your line ” if the threat is now,… increase defence spend now”. Well put. And of course not just for the Navy! The whole country!

Micki
Micki (@guest_820902)
1 month ago

And the solutión is to scrap the armed forces.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_820974)
1 month ago
Reply to  Micki

🤗 let’s not go there again

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_820934)
1 month ago

One-off tax raids may sound desperate but the NHS and Defence need additional investment as both face extraordinary challenges. Even the next Labour government won’t have the usual luxury of raiding the MOD coffers when the need arises. The World is quickly spinning into crisis with more than its fair share of potential and active warzones, all of which, can destabilise all our freedoms. The prime role of the British force in the immediate future is to demonstrate its global reach and ensure that appropriate investment reinforces this objective. The IMF is banging on the Treasury door suggesting serious revenue… Read more »

George
George (@guest_821061)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

As much as I would support an “emergency tax” for defence. (Good idea, that man.) I would complain bitterly if it happened while we gave billions away to undeserving causes abroad and wasted money housing illegal invaders. Selective tightening of the national belt is called for.

Reducing the burden on the NHS by refusing treatment to those who are here illegally. Would go a long way to solving several problems at once.

Yanto
Yanto (@guest_822311)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Scrap ceremonial duties from mod coffers, and the budget for that should come from media,sport, culture, department instead…stables, carriages, gun salutes, uniforms, relics of the past, not relevant to combat duty or equipment..

Moonstone
Moonstone (@guest_820971)
1 month ago

This politician’s promise of future increases in defence spending leave me somewhat unimpressed (to put it mildly) when it is overwhelmingly likely that both he and his party will soon not be in office anyway and therefore never have to to find the money. What I judge this current government on is what they have actually done to ensure that our defences are ‘fit for purpose” today. Let’s face it looking at the current state of our armed forces is not a pretty picture: • At Sea: The RN and RFA are desperately short of trained personnel and even if… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_820975)
1 month ago
Reply to  Moonstone

Very well put post 🍺

George
George (@guest_821063)
1 month ago
Reply to  Moonstone

Well said. The primary duty of HM Gov is defence of the realm. Sadly in our two party pseudo democracy, the only viable alternative to the current shower will be considerably worse for defence.

What the two main parties have done to our armed forces since victory in the Cold War. Is best described as deliberate and treasonous.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_820978)
1 month ago

2.5 GDP it’s nothing to brag about ME Shapps it should be at least 3% 🙄

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_820979)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

That’s MR ,sorry guys 😏

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_820982)
1 month ago

Electioneering. General election July 4th. Tory line is Starmer used to work for Corby. Stick with Rishi. Better the devil you know. All labour are saying is new defence review.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_820984)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Absolutely I know this Tory government government have done badly on Defence specially MR Cameron and is side kick Osborne.However think Tory party may have woke up a little⏰ even though it’s only 2.5%GDP should be at least 3%GDP. But Labour on Defence oh dear 😕

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_820988)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

So, likely no real changes now until labour govt defence review. The labour spend will be the same I think. The big issue is how it will be spent. Labour I think want to pull back the carriers to Europe and the Atlantic and add frigates. I wonder whether the Tories have committed to the US to contribute bigger LRG+ groups e.g. a LPD, a Bay and a QE and an escort to the Pacific to counter China.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_821001)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Guess it’s a case of wait and see Paul 👍

Jon
Jon (@guest_821067)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Last month Mr Sunak announced billions of pounds will be cut against our current defence commitments and dressed it up as a headline increase. I’m not willing to vote for that.

In 1974 Ted Heath asked the question, who governs the country? And the people answered, not you, Ted. Mr Sunak just asked, Who do you trust? And I think the people will answer, Not you, Rishi.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_821073)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

I think what’s happening is that people are waking up to the fact that they have allowed themselves to be deceived (by extreme right wing ideology). For example, Thatchers right to buy policy was very attractive to individuals and for govt finances but 40 years later we have a housing crisis. Privatising the water seemed like a great way to get infrastructure rebuilt on the cheap, but now our rivers are full of sewage. Introducing £9k university tuition fees seemed lik a great way to reduce govt spending and create an export earner. But now universities are going bankrupt and… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_821013)
1 month ago

Which begs the question
1) why are we still drawing down the Army
2) why are we getting rid of two perfectly good t23
3) why are we still withdrawing 30 T1 Typhoons

Nick Paton
Nick Paton (@guest_821015)
1 month ago

Good Evening, It’s really all quite sad that after all our concerned messages over the years about the weakness of our Defence forces that now our politicians are perhaps waking up to the realities going on! Mr Defence minister we need an immediate lasting increase in Defence spending now! All services should be financed and supported in the equipment and measures they need now not next year or in 5,10,15 years but now! The Russians and others will not wait! They play dirty as seen! There is no rule book for them! Winning is all that matters! Wake up and… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_821017)
1 month ago

Sadly I think the conservatives have been playing politics more than being committed to countering the risks.. I was finding it very interesting that over the last few weeks they had suddenly developed a story of threat to the nation and security being critical….with undertows of cannot trust Labour on defence…and now today the announcement of the election..with a speech that included…you guessed it we are the only ones that can be trusted to protect the nation…..so very cynical…

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_821030)
1 month ago

Labour issed a policy document over last weekend stating it’s main aims should they win the election and defence did’nt even get mentioned. Not a word. Happy days.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821038)
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hope UK Labour catches the “defence” 🏉 and runs with it…. forward, that is. They might surprise or not. Labor here in 🇦🇺 seems to be doing a decent job with defence. Not sure how same same these parties are politically.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_821290)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I would like to see it but I;m not holding my breath. The Australian Labor Party are centrist social democrats, hardly true of our lot., most of whom are well to the 👈 left.

Cognitio68
Cognitio68 (@guest_821072)
1 month ago

So lets get this right. There’s a growing impending threat but the outgoing government wont raise defence spending a measly 0.5% until 2030? Meanwhile we’ll have more defence cuts and endure fewer aircraft, warships and soldiers. So which is it so called “Conservative” government there’s either no real threat and therefore spending money on defence is a waste? Or there is a threat and you’re just amazingly incompetent? Until I get a Conservative politician admit that they were wrong, admit that they’re led by fools and delivers a sincere apology for how they’ve run defence over the last 15 years… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_821139)
1 month ago
Reply to  Cognitio68

Not a question of right vs wrong. The highest priority of any Conservative government is to get re-elected. The security of the country is a secondary consideration. Once you understand this everything falls into place.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_821368)
1 month ago

Ironic, if not cynical, then that UK armed forces are at their weakest, smallest for centuries, all under Tory rule for 14 years. No prospect of improvement for a decade or so. If we get to 2.5% GDP defence spending we’ll only still be marginally improving barely sufficent for peacetime. What a gift for the enemies of democracy & freedom.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_821588)
1 month ago

shalps? hasn’t he gone yet?👍🤔

Yanto
Yanto (@guest_822310)
1 month ago

As authoritarian states ignore all normal rules of war these days, neutrality means nothing any more..!!! These states who hide behind thie r neutrality will be occupied just the same by these cowards who have no respect for the rules they helped make..beware and ‘re-think going forward by not joining your friends you may be regarded as enemies in future wars..

FLJ3
FLJ3 (@guest_822845)
1 month ago

If the West didn’t have a foreign policy of bombs and sanctions for the last 30 years, the world would be a safer place.