Prime Minister Theresa May has denied claims she asked Gavin Williamson to justify the UK’s military capability as she met with the head of NATO this week.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday thealliance needed Britain’s defence capabilities after a news report said Prime Minister May had told her defence minister that he needed to justify them. Speaking at joint news conference with Mr Stoltenberg, May said:

“The United Kingdom is a leading member of the Nato alliance. We are a leading defence nation and that will continue. We are the second biggest defence budget in Nato. We are the biggest defence budget in Europe.

The reports that you have read are not correct. We will continue to be that leading contributor to the alliance but also a leading defence nation. We will continue to spend 2% of our GDP on defence.

We will continue to contribute in a whole variety of ways across conventional, cyber and nuclear capabilities.”

Mr Stoltenberg said it was important to the whole alliance that the UK continued to play a leading role, providing “high-end, first-class capabilities”.

“The Prime Minister reassured me that the UK will continue to deliver high-end capabilities, a wide spectrum of capabilities,” he told a joint news conference.

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Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago

“We will continue to spend 2% of our GDP on defence”

Not nearly enough PM. Cut our foreign aid budget as we clearly cannot afford to support our armed forces with the equipment they need and in the numbers that they require.
https://fullfact.org/economy/uk-spending-foreign-aid/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We may also need to create a few extra jobs so, hang on to the £40 Billion we are about to give away in the Brexit negotiations until we get the deal that we are after!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44570931

David Steeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel there was little chance before the NHS announcement there’s none now. As to the ‘divorce bill’ I’ve read that we will only pay if there’s a deal so keep everything crossed there isn’t.

maurice10
maurice10
2 years ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Today Williamson has issued a warning to the UK PM to guarantee £20 billion over the next ten years, or face a possible challenge to her leadership. For decades PM’s and Chancelers have said warm things about the need for defence, but like all who went before them did not mean it. Now the UK has a Defence Minister who is willing to play tough, for his department, and bring the defence budget into the same realm as health. Sadly, he’ll lose his job very soon, and a man of fire, will be muddling around at Health and Pensions. The… Read more »

AC
AC
2 years ago
Reply to  maurice10

20 Billion over 10 years is 2 billion per year given the needs of the all the services we need 20billion a year over 10 years not 2 over 10

David steeper
2 years ago
Reply to  maurice10

Maurice 10 have you actually listened to him ? I can’t make up my mind whether he’s retarded or infantile. Either way he’s not my idea of a def sec.

Sean
Sean
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

She can’t cut the foreign aid budget without Parliament repealing the existing law that states 0.7% must be spent on foreign aid… ?

BB85
BB85
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean

I honestly can’t believe some swat enshrined that into law. Technically half of what the RN does in peace time could be classed as foreign aid. Ministers need to start getting creative. A hospital ship with flat deck on top for multiple helecopters would be one option.

DRS
DRS
2 years ago
Reply to  BB85

We need two of these. I wrote to the DFID last year to say why don’t you do this stick a big UKAID banner on the side, etc etc. Put all of best of UK industry in it and then get NHS etc involved including charities to help fund it. Invests into UK industry, build capability etc etc.

Got told they use MOD for these functions. Short sighted thinking and not joined up at all.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  DRS

(Chris H) Penny Mordaunt the DFID Secretary was making this precise point this week. She was saying that while we don’t fund the aid areas (like naval ships and military costs) we then start funding stupid ideas to get the money spent before year end. The whole idea of a fixed amount per year is financial madness and it was one of the less than good (and last) ideas that came out of the 2010 Coalition (thanks LibDems). We either put aside too much for the given disasters in one year and waste it or we don’t have enough for… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean

We can however decide what it is spent on. A helicopter force of 50 Merlins to distribute aid from 8 Tide Class (KArel Doorman) style support ships to deliver it, with 2 dedicated as hospital ships – all built in the UK 10,000 containerised homes per annum built and fitted out in the Uk. A £100m prize to solve a key issue each year (medical, environmental, social). Instead we fund girl bands in Africa and just throw money at anyone with a half brained scheme. We should not be giving aid to countries who spend more than 0.5% GDP on… Read more »

andyreeves
andyreeves
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

LOL! MORE POINTLESS SOUNDBITES FROM NUMBER 10 BRAINWASHING DEPARTMENT.

farouk
farouk
2 years ago

Well Prime Minister in order to do that you need to spend more of defence of the country than spending more on countries which hate us.

farouk
farouk
2 years ago

Oh dear the Government is looking at selling one of the Wave class oilers to Brazil:
http://www.naval.com.br/blog/2018/06/01/exclusivo-ingleses-sondam-interesse-da-mb-em-um-navio-tanque-classe-wave/

Just wondering if there i anything this f-ing government won’t sell.

Rob
Rob
2 years ago
Reply to  farouk

Do we need them now that the tide class is operational?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

So the UK end up with 4 Tides.

Replacing 4 Rover, 2 Ol, and 2 Waves, which are not old vessels. Then there were the Leafs too.

It would be a typical MoD slight of hand cut to cut the Waves then say look we have the Tides. The Tides are not replacing the Waves.

The Waves like all our assets are needed. And in greater numbers.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago

Daniele, notwithstanding your general point re MOD sleight of hand, where I agree, I think in this case given our new bases in the Gulf the calculation is that
The 4 Tides at 37,000 tons can replace both the Rovers and the Waves. Its above my pay grade but I am assuming someone is doing an overarching logistics model.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul.P

One of them had better hang about in the Caribbean then as that is where 1 Wave spends most of its time.

So that leaves 3.

Sorry Paul, you may be right on MoD calculations but someone in HMG need their heads banging together. Ships cannot be in two places at once.

It is getting ridiculous.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago

What is the Wave doing in the Caribbean? Is it supporting not just RN but also a melange of Mexican,US, Canadian OPVs with fuel and stores plus a helo option? A contribution to a multi- national effort. Most of the policing work in the carbbean is done by opvs smaller than R2 or even R1. And Wave on standby for hurricane season sounds a smart move. The whole strategy might make sense if there are bases or RFAs or supply ships from dependable allies where we need them. Somali piracy is another example of where the RN / RFA does… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago
Reply to  farouk

They can have this government at a very cheap price Farouk.
For free as far as I’m concerned. An absolute shower and a national disgrace bar a few.

I’ve often wondered how our military would fair under Jacob Rees Mogg as PM?
Gavin Williamson at least is doing a sterling job under the circumstances.

Rob
Rob
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

JRM will not be PM. His views on certain topics are completely at odds with the job i.e gay marriage. There are very few good options at the moment. I can see Williamson as a future PM, but for me David Davis is the only current Tory who could do the job. None of the current shadow cabinet are fit for the role.

BB85
BB85
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree JRM will never be PM as he is too keen to speak honestly regardless if it’s popular or not. He has already confirmed he would not change the law on same sex marriage as the overwhelming majority of parliament would never back it.

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
2 years ago
Reply to  BB85

Being honest should never really be a hinderence in politics, people deserve the truth.

It wouldn’t be because he was being honest about these views, it would be because he HAS these views.

BB85
BB85
2 years ago
Reply to  BB85

So do many other politicians and people in general but they will never air them because they are not pc. Look at the whole gender debate now it’s complete anti science but preached like gospel truth and not a single politician that has ambition will give an honest opinion on it.

Frank62
Frank62
2 years ago
Reply to  farouk

The UKs debts will be kept. That’s one thing we’re stuck with.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago

Quite frankly TH, It’s sickening. This current Prime Minister and Chancellor need to go and go quickly. A house of commons with absolutely no common sense when it comes to the security of this country, or its workforce, hoping that our allies in Europe will stand by us after Brexit lol. How much more evidence do they actually need? Hold onto every penny we have, spend it on the Military and supporting infrastructure and then see how quickly they want to distance themselves from having the UK as a trading partner and an ally given the current threat levels from… Read more »

David Steeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel wait and see I think Gallileo has opened an awful lot of eyes on all sides in parliament as to how the EU sees us.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I very much hope so David.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I very much hope so David.

With France and Germany looking to exclude us from building the next 6th gen fighter, further exclusion from the Galileo project as you quite rightly say and now Airbus threatening to cut jobs here in the UK, I would hope it serves as a wake up call not only in parliament, but in the house of lords as well.

God knows nobody needs a wakeup call more than them!!!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It would take Airbus at least 2 years to move production away from the UK. If the cost is going to be 1 bill a week in losses/extra cost to Airbus (which the UK Govt has ZERO investment in or BAe who sold that pup off years ago…) that is going to hit the EU Governments who are state investors on the continent a lot harder than the UK PLC. 52 Bil a year extra costs for 2 years? That makes the 40Bil Brexit settlement and the loss of 1.5 Bil on Galileo seem a bit of a bargain. Airbus… Read more »

Jordan
Jordan
2 years ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Given that Galileo is an EU project you have to be an EU member to take part in, and we are voluntarily leaving the EU, I don’t see why it’s hard to understand their objection? The UK is the one asking to change the relationship.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

(Chris H) Jordan – Just one fault line in that idea. The UK has all the key satellite, guidance / operation and encryption technology. We are a major contributor and funder of this EU project. And they are saying we ‘can’t be trusted’? No worries. Let them pay us our £1 Bn investment back and we will build our own system. And even launch it from the UK as well (work already in hand). Do not doubt the capabilities this country has and can develop. The EU needed OUR technology. We need nothing from them. And if we chose we… Read more »

David Steeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

Then they can return the £1billion we’ve already given them towards the cost and we can walk away happy. PS they consider us a security threat but not the thousands of troops we’d send to help save their scabby arses. Maybe we shouldn’t send any at all ?

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

While I appreciate the audience of this article is hardly impartial, I doubt if a change of management will make any difference. The budget is finite and Joe Public puts Defence relatively low down in priority because in the PR battle between additional frigates and sight of elderly patients waiting on trolleys for hours in hospital corridors, we are losing in spades; and I can understand why.

Maybe it is time we cut our suit according to our cloth ….

BB85
BB85
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan

It’s because the media has the whole country indoctrinated that health care is free which it clearly isn’t 10% of the NHS budget is wasted treating obesity. At least smokers paid their fair share in taxes, time to raise cans of coke to £10

David
David
2 years ago

Same old rhetoric as before…… meaningless lip service. I liked May when she first came into office but statements like this show she really doesn’t have a clue when it comes to defence – and cares even less. She is just another ‘cardboard cut-out’ politician with no understanding of what it takes to defend this country. On the other hand, I am very impressed with Gavin Williamson – very refreshing to see someone with a genuine passion for the Armed Forces. I am saddened though, that his efforts will be stonewalled by ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ and May when the new review… Read more »

John West
John West
2 years ago
Reply to  David

Edit – “May…doesn’t have a clue”

I could expand this to most of the current government (and, sadly, the opposition – very little choice out there).

Anyone hear the astonishing relevation by ex 1st Sea Lord West that Labour has spend more on defence since WW2 than the Conservatives?

Iknownothing
Iknownothing
2 years ago

Easiest way to boost the governments finances and have the option of more money for defence – stop Brexit before it puts our economy fully into recession. One decision – instant economic bounceback and boost to UK government income. More money for NHS through tax rises that are widely accepted as necessary, extra income can be used for security and defence. Easy.

Oh and we get to keep Airbus industries presence in the UK.

What’s not to like?

T.S
2 years ago
Reply to  Iknownothing

I am a remainer in principle but have now just lost the will to care which way is best. At least this process has resharpened our eyes to what we need to change and what to do better. As long as we come out with more ambition, and an impetus on rebuilding hi tech engineering industries I don’t care if we stay or go. Migration aside, I think many brexiteers voted to leave because we are gradually withering as part of the eu. Our status on the world stage is in question and they want us to start punching again,… Read more »

Andy ardron
Andy ardron
2 years ago
Reply to  T.S

I was a die hard remainer, however seeing how the EU is treating us to set an example has made me sick of the whole thing, I voted remain to reform from the inside. Now I think it’s too late. Better to be first out and try and avoid the collapse

Dafydd Thomas
2 years ago
Reply to  Iknownothing

With the Brexcit uncertainly more multi national companies like BMW, Honda, Citroen, etc will ply the same threats. For Airbus it won’t be an overnight move of moving from the UK, for one they will need to create extra capacity in their remaining factors or build a few new ones to build the wings and also you need time, expenditure in Billions of £ Euros and effort to hire the technical skills and expertise to build the wings adding more and more to the bill of R&D, building the planes, etc – with the plane airlines either taking the shot… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Dafydd Thomas

(Chris H) Dafydd Thomas – You seek to make a point by saying companies are leaving. No one has yet and what we hear are what companies ‘could’ do ‘if’ certain things happen or don’t happen. Had to laugh at your examples: BMW will never move Rolls Royce or Mini production because they are quintessentially ‘British Brands’. One might say that the Austrians benefit from that brand as they build the larger Minis. Honda were the first to recognise our new global position and now make every Civic car for every global market in Swindon. Nowhere else. They are going… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Iknownothing

(Chris H) Iknownothing – whats to lose? Oh just the simple principle of Democracy where the people decide and the Government do. I had to put up with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for decades although I voted against them. But I accepted it (with gritted teeth). What people like you are doing is brushing aside that same democracy because you don’t like the decision. Like the EU does – Keep having referendums until you get the answer you want. We are leaving. Thats it. And if companies cannot see the benefits of staying here than so be it. We… Read more »

julian1
julian1
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

democracy at any price? cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  julian1

(Chris H) julian1 – Democracy is priceless and too many British people have paid the ultimate price to preserve the Democracy we have. So how can it be a case of the nose / spite / face? I don’t see the connection? Or are you saying we need saving from ourselves? That the British people need directing in how to behave and do as they are instructed? Hitler tried that and got a slap. The EU have been trying it for 20+ years and now they have had a slap (not literally). I am sorry but the British people elected… Read more »

AndrewR
AndrewR
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes agreed, 100%, it’s that priceless to me as well.

Frank62
Frank62
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Well said.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Agree Chris.

So many here more loyal to their wallet than their nation.

T.S
2 years ago

You could well be right TH, however, we must move on, the decision is made. Now is the time for ideas and plans to make things better down the road

Steve M
Steve M
2 years ago

I think “I can never forgive those who voted for this madness”, is a bit strong. We all have/had our reasons for it and believe you and me it wasn’t based around an advert on a bus. One company threatening something doesn’t add up to “the truth being revealed”. As someone who also used to work for an Airbus supply chain company it is classic Airbus, threaten, threaten and threaten again until you get your own way, even if you’ve already signed a contract to the contrary.

AC
AC
2 years ago

Brexit if it is done correctly will be a great opportunity as we already export more outside of the EU nations than within. The EU has and will continue to shrink as a percentage of the global economy.

Why don’t you stop whining and start looking at alternatives. Start diversifying and cutting your cloth accordingly.

AndrewR
AndrewR
2 years ago

Well, yes we will remain a major military power….we are one of the few countries in the world that can project serious military power around the world, and we have ties to dozens of other countries that still count. But we could do so much more with an uptick in spending to 2.5% of gdp. I think defence will get a bit more money over the coming year…..the deficit is coming down pretty quickly (despite all the project fear nonsense that the end of the world would happen) but we need substantially more money pumped into the armed forces….

Anthony D
Anthony D
2 years ago

A good counter story to the prevalent view here that we must fund every capability…
https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/?m=1

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago
Reply to  Anthony D

I thought Humphrey had gone into retirement. He is right though that we need to have a debate. ‘Global Britain’ and ‘Tier 1 military power’ sound like default positions, echos of Empire and Pax Britannica, adopted because its the only way we know.
His reference to the Danish armed services ( being in demand) is interesting, especially in light of the Arrowhead offering for Type 31.

Mark Latchford
Mark Latchford
2 years ago

What radio programme TH, and who said it?

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

(Chris H) TH – No its not Brexit that is the problem it is the EU playing silly beggars with its biggest market to ‘teach us a lesson’. They could have done a trade deal 12 months ago but chose to demand our money first and then play with fire in Ireland. We are totally aligned in regulations, approvals, standards and everything else. No other country outside the EU is so closely aligned. Where there could and should have been immediate and friendly certainty the EU have deliberately created uncertainty and a damaging relationship. And all the while it encourages… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago

Ah TH, you need to get into the spirit of Brexit. It’s a British thing; why make things easy when you can make them difficult? Think of it as an opportunity for creative self improvement; developing temperance for example 🙂

Frank62
Frank62
2 years ago

She would say that as every Tory PM/Chancellor has, despite our capabilities shrinking. 2% is not enough & our “2%” is an accounting wheeze, not actual defence spending. “2%” is the lie to pull the wool over most peoples eyes that we’ve reduced our armed forces close to critical levels. I’m encouraged by what i’ve heard of Gavin williams so far & hope he’s the man to bring our forces back into real-world capability, rather than being a political football/punch bag for cuts. There’s a lot now to be excited about, so long as the funding is provided to make… Read more »

Mark Latchford
Mark Latchford
2 years ago
Reply to  Frank62

NATO say we meet their criteria for spending more than 2% Frank. Are you saying they’re lying?

Julian
Julian
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Latchford

It’s a question worth exploring. I’d be interested in seeing the arguments in more detail. The basis of the claims from those who question the 2% is that the UK includes things in its 2% that other companies don’t. believe that ex-service personnel pensions is one questionable item that we include in our 2% calculations; I would be interested to know what other items are considered questionable. It would be interesting to know whether the questionable items that are included in the UK calculations are genuinely never included by other countries or it’s more a case that they are included… Read more »

AndrewR
AndrewR
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian

All countries include pensions and personnel costs. For some, such as Belgium and Greece they account for over 75% of their defence budget. For most nato allies they are around 50% . The U.K. does better than most when looking at how much of the defence budget is spent on actual hardware and operations etc

Julian
Julian
2 years ago
Reply to  AndrewR

So what is the basis of the claims that the UK is throwing in dubious extra stuff to meet the 2%? Is it simply a lie that has been repeated often enough that some people are being tricked into believing that it is true or are there dubious items (not pensions) that are included in our 2%?

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 years ago

I find the whole Brexit situation very sad if I am honest, I want to remain in the EU – but think the EU is actually not good for Britain. The Problem I have is that the same people who are negotiating for us now – having complained bitterly about the EU are the same people who have been part of past governments that have accepted what the EU has offered us. Take a look at every other country in the EU, they dont like something they just dont do it- we on the other hand do do it even… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Well Pacman I agree with you. I voted to remain. But as the saying goes, we are where we are. The UK is still a great place to be. There’s no point in harping on. It’s happened. The world is going through a testing time. Who could have predicted Trump or that the Irish would vote for abortion? It’s as if the whole world has decided its all about me. Those forces which appeal to selfishness and work by divide and conquer have the upper hand right now. Stormy times. Clip on so you don’t get washed overboard. For what… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 years ago

Why cant we stay in the EU and just opt out of everything we dont want to do. We also need to say that for every 10,000 net migrants from the EU that we want £1bn in order to pay for the infrastructure to support them. At the end of the day what are they going to do to us, we should throw our weight about and take Germany on more. We were on track to be the largest economy in Europe by 2025 (HSBC economic analysis) – now that has gone. I do think we can make it all… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago

Brexit, Trump and Putin mean the UK has to do a complete review of defence. The ‘modernising defence’ initiative recognizes this and is a hood sign that government is still working. In todays Times the US Ambassador to the UK is reported as hinting the US wants us to spend more on defence. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/if-you-want-strong-defence-you-have-to-pay-for-it-us-envoy-woody-johnson-tells-britain-8tqs8xgr2 Notwithstanding any trade deal Brexit will be interpreted by the EU as the UK reverting to type – I’m alright Jack, its all the others who are out of step. RR, BMW, Airbus, Jaguar LandRover are all making plans to move production to the continent. We… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul.P

(Chris H) – Paul P – You make some interesting observations but can you confirm exactly when BMW (RR), Airbus and JLR will be leaving the UK as a production base please? You seem to know more than my contacts from years back. Or was that an assumption based on rumour? Airbus interestingly after all the political bluster admitted they were looking at the NEXT development spending. Not current production or indeed the latest wing variant that is being developed here. Not anywhere else – here in the UK. Its called ‘Wing of the Future’ and involves many high technology… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

They started a while back. RR have opened a factory in Berlin. Jaguar Land Rover have said they are switching producfion of a current model to the EU. More importanf though is that trust has been broken by Brexit. These multinational companies are much less likely to do future development in the UK. Britain has labelled itself as an unreliable partner. Within a couple of years I fully expect key Airbus workers in North Wales to be offered relocation packages to work in Toulouse, French and EU cirizenship thrown in. They would be mad to refuse.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul.P

(Chris nH) Paul P – You sound like someone who hates Great Britain because he lost a vote and is seeking every comfort he can from scraps of news and happy to fabricate some when needed. Very sad and I fear you are confusing BMW owned Rolls Royce cars and British owned RR Aerospace. By choice. Rolls Royce have had factories near Berlin for decades working with BMW on aero engines like the BR700 family of jet engines. This is the company building the Europrop TP400 engine for the Airbus A400M (amongst other work). It was purchased from BMW in… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Quite a rant. But the basic point about Brexit is still valid. It was and is a divisive initiative whose roots lie in the fomenting of resentment and which using immigartion cleverly placed the blame for the country’s woes at the door of the EU rather than the real culprits, the political establishment both right and left. Like other EU countries the UK had the opportunity to place a 6 year block on freedom of movement while they tuned their health and benefits systems. But we chose to open the floodgates straight away overwhelming our services. Why? IMO because the… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

(Chris H) Paul P – I see you call a factual correction a ‘rant’. Oh well … Its interesting how you (like all Remainers) immediately decide you know why people like me voted as we did and then fabricate an argument to suit. You know nothing. Paul the problem is not the Tories or Labour over Brexit. People of all political persuasions and none vote Leave. Corbyn probably being one as was his right. I know because I was an area organiser and yes migration came up but not as you described it. Your veiled inference of racism is duly… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 years ago

I do firmly believe in having a very healthy aid budget, as a very wealthy nation it pays to be seen as a champion of the poor.Its also morally right, I’ve spent my life putting people back together and have a good insight on what suffering looks like, so don’t agree with walking away from it. My biggest problem is having a fixed target that you have to spend, we should instead be looking at what we want to achieve and how we are going to do it, then fund it in year. I also have a problem with how… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I agree with your sentiments entirely Jonathan.

But first we need to invest a large portion of the foreign aid budget into our armed forces who can deliver and dispense the aid we supply whilst maintaining a strong military presence in order to deter any would be aggressors from these shores.

Spent wisely, both goals can be achieved!

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

My take on foreign aid. 1. We have a moral obligation to help those whose dignity as a human being is compromised. Food, clean water, protection from disease 2. The Aid Agencies are the professionals on the ground and govt should work through them. 3. Promoting British values should not be an objective lf foreign aid. The recipients will be grateful and respect us the more if we avoid ‘preaching’. 4. How much foreign aid is given directly by UK taxpayers? Does or should the target take this into account. 5. There is a case for saying the defence costs… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I believe 0.7 is fine in principle, it is how we spend it that is the issue. Let’s take a real example. Hurricane hits the Caribbean and demolishes a number of islands last year The UK could have used the aid budget as follows if we had spent just 20% of the last 10 years worth of budget wisely. The UK forward deploys 4 Karel Doorman class support vessels to the region – 1 hospital ship and 3 support vessels with 4 Chinooks and 18 Merlin Helicopters onboard, plus a humanitarian force to deliver the aid. We also deploy 2… Read more »

Rob
Rob
2 years ago

Newspaper headlines: ‘Give me £20bn or I’ll bring May down’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-44590915

Interesting article in the Mail this morning. Can’t say I approve of the threats if this is true but at least it shows he is determined.

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I think this may be a mistake, but I will remember this when he is running to be the PM. I like the fact he is principled, and its about time the country understands what needs to be spent on Defence which is about £5-8bn more per year than current expenditure. I have always been very disappointed that our troops do not have the best equipment we can afford and the wastefulness of the MOD and I really hope Gavin holds the chiefs to account as Nick Carter has been very wasteful and inconsistent around FRES and strike brigades. For… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob

(Chris H) Rob – Its only fair to say he is initially gunning (excuse the pun) for Hammond and the Treasury not the PM directly., Hammond said there was no more money after the NHS hike in funding so the PM asked Williamson to justify his position (as she is duty bound to do as First Lord of the Treasury). What Williamson and others have threatened to do is vote down Hammond’s budget in the Autumn. This will probably lead to a vote of No Confidence and the resignation of the whole Government not just the PM. If he pushes… Read more »

Elliott
Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

A Defense Ministery should never have to rationalize itself or it’s funding the reasons for more resources being necessary are self explanatory. If a Defense Minister does not believe he can accomplish the task set before him then he should do whatever he can legally do and feels necessary. Up to and including torching the PM in hearings and votes. In the US this considered the difference between a good Secretary of Defense and a terrible one. Who would oversee the gutting of the Military while smiling before the cameras. If you are so confident in Mrs May’s abilities then… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Elliott

(Chris H) Elliott unlike Americans we don’t take kindly to having Elections every two years or having them forced on us by the Westminster Game Show. As Mrs May found out last year and as I commented with: “If he pushes that far he may not like a) the reaction of the electorate” We put them there to do a job and get on with it. Its why there has been so much dislike over the Brexit rebels. And this is not an Election or a Vote of Confidence issue. To try and defeat a Budget (or the Finance Bill… Read more »

Julian
Julian
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Not only that. The Tories’ single most widely used line of attack against Labour (or any opposition) for as long as I can remember has been, and still is, that opposition spending plans aren’t fully costed. That paints them into a bit of a corner in that any increase in defence funding really needs to be planned carefully and worked into an overall budget calculation, it can’t just be cobbled together as a result of Tory rebels voting down a budget and Hammond saying “oh, OK then” or the Tories risk undermining their key election message of financial prudence and… Read more »

andyreeves
andyreeves
2 years ago

2%? the u.k actually managed 1.8% not the 2% the government would have us believe.

andyreeves
andyreeves
2 years ago

its already sold our soul to B.A.E!!

Gerry Goodwin
Gerry Goodwin
2 years ago

The government is saying today exaxctly what they said underCameron, yet under Cameron, cuts were the oder of the day, and today, there is rumors going around that because of the expence of the two new carriers, they may have to disband the only two assault ships we have now, Albion and Bulwark, which would aslo mean a hell of a lot of other equipment belonging to the Commandos also going, as with out the two assault ships, they will no longer be fit for purpose. Previous Governments have been cutting down the size of The U.K.s forces since the… Read more »