MP’s from across the political spectrum have spoken out against speculated cuts to the Royal Navy amphibious fleet today during a debate at Westminster Hall.

Johnny Mercer, Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View threatened:

“There is a resilient cohort of conservative MPs who will hold them [government] to account on defence.”

Member of Parliament for Bridgend Madeleine Moon said:

“We will not, and cannot, sit by and be silent whilst the Navy is hollowed out.”

Member of Parliament for Witney & West Oxon Robert Courts said, regarding amphibious capability:

“For us to lose it, it would remain very difficult for us to remain a global player and a NATO partner.

If Britain withdraws from its ability to project amphibious force, we will be waking up in a different country.”

Martin Docherty-Hughes, Member of Parliament for West Dunbartonshire said:

“Albion and Bulwark are strategic assets which other nations rely upon and getting rid of this command and control capability would be nothing short of of an abdication of that responsibility and undermine UK leadership.”

Remarking upon the cross party agreement on this topic, another MP noted:

“Everyone who has made a contribution this morning is of a firm view that the defence of this country requires an amphibious capability.”

Harriet Baldwin Minister for Defence Procurement, giving the Government reply said:

“The UK amphibious capability represents a vital component of our power projection capabilities.”

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Mike Saul

We need a major shift in Government spending priorities, dare I say to more Thatcherite stance.

The EU will never do a reasonable deal on Brexit, international development spending is a scandal, the NHS a bottomless pit and welfare spending is too high.

So there is an opportunity, trouble is we don’t have politicans brave enough to make the tough decisions required.

Patrick

The issue is May is just stumbling from one crisis to the next, it’s like she’s been in permanent shock since that mess she called an election.

At least this issue is getting traction in Parliament.

Mike Saul

May is more like Ted Heath than Thatcher, she is no doubt hardworking and thoughtful but given the hand she has been dealt ( a situation which she partly created) she is a very poor leader.

The UK at this time needs a strong leader who is prepared break up the current straight jacket of conventional political thinking.

One thing is certain Corbyn is not the answer to the problem.

BB85

May is completely out of her depth. The problem is no one including my self will ever take Boris seriously and no one else seems to want the job. Id be happy for David Davis to take it but don’t see that ever happening and I think JRM is happy being a back bencher and debating from the sidelines.

Mike Saul

The next leader of the Tories must come from the 2010 or 2015 intakes, voted brexit at the referendum, political warrior, great leadership skills and the common touch.

My personnel preference is Priti Patel or Penny Mourdant. Of course many will disagree but it’s a free country.

Nathan

Agreed, but the problem lies with the people. The UK is living beyond its means and the majority of the people are still not willing to accept the fact. We as a people have in large part grown arrogant, fat and proud. Our means no longer meet our expectations. Our pride is grounded in past glories not present realities. And we expect others to treat us with greater respect that we treat others. This is a miserable confluence and a recipe for tragedy. I really hope we wake up before our country goes broke or worse – lives are lost.… Read more »

Stephen G.

We can still afford to give £billions of Britain’s hard earned money to foreign countries every single year though, right?

David Stephen

Arrogant and fat yes but few people in this country feel pride anymore. The younger generations have a twisted view on history spread by leftist academics/teachers and guilt ridden media outlets.

FrankLT

Thatcher was about to implement cuts to the RN which precipitated the Falklands war as it had convinced the Argentines we were both no longer interested in the Falklands & on the verge of being unable to re-take them. That’s all in the history & was known at the time, despite often being overlooked today. Had they waited 2 or 3 years they’d have had greater success. Thatcher only got back in the game after the disaster. Welfare spending has been hammered mercilessly by the Tories whilst all HMGs have allowed trillions of tax to be lost by the rigged… Read more »

Mike Saul

Thatcher wanted, incorrectly as it turned out, to focus our defence assets on fighting the Warsaw pact in central and northern europe.

Something which previous Governments had neglected.

The enemy was the USSR and we a massive increase in our conventional land forces to face that threat.

John Clark

The welfare bill squeezed, you’re kidding me right…. This country spends a “huge” amount of GDP on Welfare, it absolutely cripple’s the public pursue. All the public services need ground up reform and additional funds should only be allocated hand in hand with them. Its beyond bleeding obvious the NHS requires serious reform, though they do an amazing job, its current model is not fit for purpose, billions are waisted ( the true figure is closely guarded) every year through piss poor management, hand in hand with unions, hell bent on preventing any reform at any cost. The waisted billions… Read more »

there is enough offshore wealth being kept from the tax man to effectively end the monetary woes. The budget’s stretch is down to this and the pension time bomb that continues to be ignored, or even further exasperated by the tories. The aid budget is ridiculous also as everyone seems to be in agreement here. I know the ‘aid’ budget goes to a lot of low key ‘soft-power’ projects but to have it at its current levels whilst the military, who have been eroded away under Labour and then utterly gutted under the Tories at the same time as running… Read more »

Ian

Meanwhile the Mister says ‘well, we probably will’

New DS, same old tired BS…

Ian Harris

Maggie was about to make swingicuts to our armed forces and then the Falklands raised its uglyhead , so she isn’t or wasn’t the saviour by any means!

Paul.P

If we can afford to pay £40 billion to leave the EU we can afford to keep Albion and Bulwark. This crying poverty is wearing a bit thin.

David

Don’t forget the 13Bn we throw away every year in foreign aid….. enough to buy four QE class carriers – EVERY YEAR!

Andrew Stephens

Absolutely right ??

Paul.P

I don’t think all aid is money thrown away. That which is used to match efforts by the NGOs is probably well spent. Am less convinced about money spent to evangelise British culture ( in the anticipation of export business). Nor do I see why we are giving aid to India. If they can afford a space program they are not candidates for aid.

Ian

Paul, I concur not all the money is thrown away. Most Brits are pretty fair and reasonable people who I suspect largely have no problem with Aid in principle. As I also suspect with many others I have a massive issue with scale at the current time. When defence, security, police, fire, law have all had 30% budget reductions, public servants have seen 15% pay cuts etc it’s just insane, incongruous and economically illiterate to triple aid budget in comparison. Such crazy imbalances threatens to poison the goodwill of decent people towards the entire Foreign Aid budget. The 0.7% target… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Exactly. Common sense that when things are tough charity begins at home. But how many of our politicians bat for the UK?

Paul.P

Agree it was perverse of Cameron to enshrine the aid target in law. At the time he was ‘ not a well man’ ; overstressed. But as the saying goes we are where we are and cutting it would lose the government votes I think. I have to say it is all too easy to blame someone else when you are under pressure; waste in the NHS, the benefits bill, overseas aid – all of which should rightfully be examined by those responsible for running them. But people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The MOD needs to look closer… Read more »

Mr Bell

So as a nation we can afford to give the EU £40 billion to just move onto talks about trade. What the hell? why do we not just say fine- the national audit office says we owe you £17 billion to cover our agreed EU budget commitments until 2023- that is the current spending round. That is fine and what we agreed before the referendum results became apparent and therefore is the right and correct thing to do Therefore as a gesture of goodwill we will pay that. why the heck do we then need to pay £40 billion for… Read more »

Mike Saul

After March 2019 we will not be a member of the EU we legally owe nothing, that is what the treaty of Lisbon says.

David Stephen

Agreed, we should contribute nothing more to that shambles of an organization.

Well said but suppose we give the brass another £1 or 2bn what do you think they will spend most of it on ? Themselves. 5 or 10 years from now we will be back talking about threats to this battalion, squadron or ship. It’s not long ago a treasury official was quoted lamenting the fact that when the MoD received billions only millions ended up with the people who SHOULD matter. The fighting elements. When 5 years later anyone looked at where it had gone no-one in the top brass was willing to answer.

Nathan

This isn’t a good will gesture – it is a ransom.

David Stephen

Exactly, and you dont negotiate with terrorists or criminals.

barry white

Mr Bell I do like what you say in that long post and i agree with almost all of it But i must disagree on one point you make I retired in August this year and my pay was almost the same as i was earning before the financial crises and i was not working in the puplic sector The private sector was hit very bad as well if not harder Everyone in this country contributes one way or another Bear in mind that its the private sector that builds the fire engines that the fireman use to put our… Read more »

Paul.P

The Brexit bill is a reckoning. The Lisbon treaty allowe us to place controls on immigration and our politicians and/ the civil service chose not to. Seems to me there was an unholy alliance between Labour who saw eu immigrants as labour voters and the Tories who saw eu immigrants as a source of cheap labour to drive down wages. Both saw the possibility of overhearing the economy with unsustainable growth to fund the give aways in their manifestos. This disingenuous behaviour has come back to bite us as the people realise what has been going on. The establishment political… Read more »

Ian

True this!

Jonathan

The NHS will manage, we always do…. A few (many to be honest) more clinicians will be worked to the point they leave or become to broken to continue in direct care (there is only so much suffering a person can actively participate in before it breaks the soul) .. a number (actual a good many) of people will die when they did not have to and lot more will suffer a bit more than they needed to… But we will continue on supporting the Many hundreds of millions of consultations,home visits, A+E attendances and admissions that will occur this… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

The anti brexit media and most of the political class who are against it always seem to ignore that the balance of trade between the EU and the UK with regards imports and exports is lopsided. They sell far more to us than us to them, they need a trade deal as much if not more than the UK. The fact that tariffs also work both ways is also ignored. The UK’s yearly payment for membership should be spent on UK public services. That is what the public voted for. Some of it could even support tariff hit industry. As… Read more »

Mike Saul

For the EU this isn’t about prosperity it’s about politics. It doesn’t matter how much more we buy from them, they are out to make us suffer even it causes pain for themselves. They fear a successful UK post brexit they will do their utmost to prevent it happening, the only course of action for the UK is to walk away on March 2019 and trade on WTO rules in the short term this will be very painful. I voted remain, but the majority voted to leave. I hope those who voted to leave are prepared to accept the pain.… Read more »

barry white

I to voted remain but am now an avid leaver due to the insulting remarks made by Junker the following day (cant remember exactly but they were insulting to the British public)
Although i didnt vote to leave i did know what it was for
I find it insulting to suggest that a lot of people didnt know what they voted for we were told often enough by the remain side what it ment in there doom laden speeches _

Jonathan

Yep completely agree with you Mike, our government and the EU are actually negotiating across two different purposes. The UK government is trying to negotiate around growing the pie and joint economic Benefit, the EU simple must punish the UK as much as it possibly can to ensure it future political survival, it’s political leaders will happily take significant economic pain to keep the political ducks in a row. Personally I would have preferred staying in the EU, but ha ho not being Scottish I’m going to have to wait a decade or two to get to vote on this… Read more »

Peter Jackson

I agree and if I had stayed there I would have voted remain, I am an expat. and have lived in the far east for more than 20yrs.

David Stephen

I knew exactly what I voted for Mike and I am fully prepared to endure whatever hardships result from my decision. You are correct that the EU do not care what damage they do to themselves as long as they hurt the UK in doing it. That alone should be enough to convince you or any other doubters that we are better off out of that undemocratic club. I also find it disgusting that the media continue to critisize the UK government over Brexit but seem to offer a free pass to foreign nations trying to influence our country or… Read more »

David Stephen

Give that man a prize because he is 100% correct.

TH

Just think, if Brexit had been rejected, many of these problems would not have arisen and the GBP would have retained its exchange rate against the USD.

Daniele Mandelli

And just think, if the UK had not been hoodwinked by Heath in 1973 joining a “Common Market” that has since been on the road to becoming a United States of Europe with Germany’s interests at the heart of it, none of this would have happened.

Nobody voted for that in 1973.

At last the UK has been given a vote, and it has spoken.

Just think TH, just think….

And we’d be sending £10bn+ p/a to them for ever and ever and ever

Peter Jackson

I agree.

David Stephen

And if my granny had wheels she would be a wagon.

Jas.

What all you Brexiters seem to forget is most of our economy now is serviced based , WTO does not cover services we would be royally shafted if we don’t get a trade deal, sorry to all you little englanders the numbers do not back up your dreams.

Yes im a remainer & im old enough to remember what a shit hole the UK was pre the EEC. if we don’t get a trade deal that covers services we are fawked….

Tim62

Jas You’re right in essence, some of the more excitable remarks by some posters here against the EU brigade are just silly, and rightly deserve to be ignored. But what can’t be ignored is the negative economic potential of Brexit. We are too focussed as an economy on Brexit, but shifting from that is going to be painful even if it is possible. We were warned about the impact of leaving. We chose to ignore it. Some are still pretending that ‘they need us more than we need them’. It doesn’t wash. The irony is that for all the words… Read more »

David Stephen

You just don’t get it do you. I would rather be destitute and starving than remain in the EU. It has nothing to do with the economy or money at all. We did not fight and win 2 wars against Germany to be dictated to be them, politicaly or economicaly. The EU is a facist regime with no tolerance or respect for democracy. British laws should not be dictated by foreign powers. I want to elect officials who I know and are accountable to me and the rest of the public. A short term downturn in financies is a small… Read more »

David Stephen

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Mr Bell

Just think TH if we had not voted out we would in 25 years of given the EU another £400 billion in donations to its funds, got precisely shit all back except ingratitude and Germanic dominance. thank goodness we voted out, now lets get out without paying the EU a sodding penny. Use our taxpayers money here in the UK. The NHS is on its knees, schools are having their funding cut, the infrastructure of the uk is creaking due to years of underinvestment. We cannot afford to care for our elderly properly. Just walk away pay the EU nothing… Read more »

Tim62

Mr Bell
You are so wrong in all of these comments it is hard to know where to begin. I’ll say this, read my comment above and you’ll see why. You say you want a stronger UK defence, but by voting out you have hit our economy (for the next decade!) and thus are helping precipitate a likely further round of defence cuts that you say you’re against.
best Tim

David Stephen

No, you are wrong. If we stayed in the EU any discussion regarding our defence budget would be mute as they are powering ahead with thier ridiculous EU army.

JohnStevens

Just to make one point .. One of the big reasons the MOD are having such problems is because of the UK leaving the EU.. Pound was hit and military equipment becomes more expensive to buy. I voted to stay in the EU.. But hey i respect the vote outcome, just making the point though for those that wanted to leave the EU and currently complain about the situation with the MOD budget.. The out vote has not helped the defence problems.

Lee H

Hi John Apologies – £$ rate fixed WRT purchase of US equipment. £ was hit but has recovered to pre-vote levels in most cases. We have our own defence industry as well and as far as I remember the £ is not effected by the £. Paying £360m for three patrol vessels that cost 1/3 that is where the problem lies. Having multiple UOR platforms brought into the ORBAT, having no strategy, being beholden to U.K. defence contractors, forever changing our minds on requirements- the list goes on. Before we start blaming everything else it’s always good to look inside… Read more »

Tim62

@Lee H
Yes it is going to be boring to remind Leavers of it, but rest assured that is what many of us are going to do until they finally get the message, how they voted hit the UK economy. That affects defence spending. So if they don’t like it they need to reconsider how they voted. (and no that’s not code for a 2nd referendum). The trouble is that political education and more importantly economic education in the UK is non-existent. Best Tim

John Clark

Tim, if the option for our Country is between being gradually consumed by the EU Superstate (a point that simply cannot be argued against), or taking the rather bumpy road less travelled towards an independent future, were we control our own destiny, then that’s the correct way to go, without question. Economics are only part of the story, our freedom might well come at quite a price, but freedom is never free and on many levels is priceless. The clear intent from the EU to damage/punish us for leaving shows we have absolutely made the right decision. After all, we… Read more »

R Cummings

‘Tim, if the option for our Country is between being gradually consumed by the EU Superstate (a point that simply cannot be argued against), ‘ What??? There is no ‘EU Superstate’ outside of Daily Express and Mail propaganda. There are 28 independent nations that freely entered into a trade agreement and a closer co-operation arrangement. The economic driver was that, individually, none could compete with the USA in high-tech manufacturing or withstand US takeovers. If we go back to the 70s, when the British and French civil aviation industries, for example, were going to the wall and the US big… Read more »

Geoff

The eu only want us is for our money we will be better off when we leave the eu simple

David Stephen

No, it is a question of priorities. Money is there, we just need to spend it better. EU want £40 billion divorce settlement, NI gets $6 billion, and £13.6 billion to overseas aid, while the black hole in defence is only £15 billion. Do the math.

Lee H
JohnStevens

Morning Lee H.. was just making a point that it did not help the situation with defence, but did not mean all the problems with defence are solely to do with Brexit. Another way to look at the current situation is with a smaller economy in the future which is possible after Brexit this will have a knock -on effect meaning even less money to spend on the military.. So i’m afraid to say Brexit is very much involved in the defence issues.

But hey let’s wait and see..

JohnStevens

*But in saying all that above i do hope the UK further into the future has a good economy .. Think it will take a hit for a while though.. Seeing that to a certain degree already im afraid to say..

Rec