Britain may soon ‘no longer be taken seriously’ by other global powers according to Sir Mike Penning.
Speaking in the Sun, Sir Mike Penning warned British forces were so short staffed and under-funded they may soon be unable to vital international work.
“Someone has to stand up and say, enough is enough. We’re down to the bone now. The legacy of austerity measures has been so severe that the British navy now no longer has the ships needed to fight piracy off the coast of Africa.
The Army is too small. An army of 82,000 does not give us enough ready troops to deploy. If numbers go down any more, we are simply not going to be able to do what the British public expect of us, from our NATO and UN commitments to humanitarian missions.
If you continue to develop the replacement Trident from the existing budget, that will dramatically affect the operational capability of the three armed forces – particularly the Army. I want the PM and the Chancellor to fund Trident replacement with a new pool of money that is kept entirely separate from the rest of the MoD’s budget.”
“You see will a decline in exercises, in flying times for fast jet and helicopter pilots, and we will get back to sailors shouting bang instead of firing real shells. I cannot condone going back to a time when we send our troops to war with just five rounds of ammunition, as they had to in Iraq.”