Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has refused to rule out cuts to the Royal Marines.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if the Royal Marines were facing cuts, Fallon said:
“We’ve got 7,000 Royal Marines. The actual balance between the number of sailors and the number of marines, that’s a matter for the First Sea Lord to keep under review.
Within the Royal Navy, you have the Royal Marines as well and there has to be balance between the two.
If something is no longer needed, if it’s redundant, we need to make sure that we can put the savings back into new equipment. That applies to buildings, it also applies to the way we work and the efficiencies that we need. We’re a very large organisation and we need every year to be as efficient as possible and we are committed to meeting those efficiency savings.”
Asked about the numbers in the Times report, Fallon said:
“The defence budget is the fifth biggest in the world. It’s £35bn, £35bn a year.
Next week, the beginning of the financial year, it goes up to £36bn, it’ll be £40bn by the end of this parliament. But like any large organisation we, of course, continue to look for efficiencies and all the savings from efficiencies are put back into investment to the new ships, the new planes, the new armoured vehicles that we need.”