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.”

61 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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. Who would join the armed forces now, when they’re expected to do so much, for such little recompense and often with inadequate training and equipment.

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

      • 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.

    • 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 offshore tax scam. That’s the real driving force behind all the cuts.

      • 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.

      • 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 should be spent on Front line services, not fritted away by a failed 70 year old business model.

        All the Political parties know this is a fact, but no one will do anything, due to the hysterical backlash from the general public, who just like mushrooms, are kept in the dark and spoon fed a diet of social media bullshit.

        All the politicians (of all colours) are interested in, is getting re elected/elected, so nothing ever changes…

        • 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 operations at a very high level pretty much since 2001, its insane to hear more talks of cutting a force that has pretty much got nothing left to give up.

          I would tell friends years ago that the forces were being bled dry. We are now at the point where limbss are being removed too.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

      • 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.

        • 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 should be scrapped immediately and we should withdraw from international aid laws to make our own rules.

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

          • 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 to home at its sclerotic decision making ( Type 26 should be in service now) , out of proportion service senior rank numbers, inbred supplier relationships and love affairs with ( financially) bleeding edge technology e.g. WR21
            As regards Brexit we should have reduced immigration by implementing the same sort of residence and contribution checks for benefits that other EU states have then we not be taken for a free ride as we have been and made sure that those making money out of immigrants can’t stash their profits away in offshore accounts, where I am sure there is more than enough money fund an entire second navy.

  4. 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 absolutely no agreement? we all know this will not be the last payment the EU will want from us- if we agree to pay £40 billion does this guarantee a comprehensive free trade deal?- if so then it might be worth paying if it is just to move onto talks to discuss free trade then answer is no.
    Meanwhile in the real world, our armed forces need £40 billion as does the NHS, Education, Public Sector pay, Social care and more importantly infrastructure.
    Public sector employees are currently 14% worse off then they were in 2006-2007 due to below inflation pay rises. So who has paid the cost of the financial crash- not the bankers that caused it with their greed- nope the cost of the financial crash has been paid for by every working man and woman in the uk especially the public sector and sadly it will be for the next 2-3 generations until the national debt is paid back down to a level that is sustainable.
    I feel sad for my children as they will be paying the national debt off that through my generations greed (ok the bankers and big corporations) have led to this debt.
    It makes you want to almost cry the sheer ineptitude of our politicians that they are even thinking of paying the EU £40 billion with no guarantees of a successful outcome or the fact that this is actually in our long-term benefit to pay and is going to be the sole and only payment to an ungrateful, corrupt, hate-filled, vengeful and very forgetful union of nations. They seem to have forgotten our support in WW1 and WW2, our garrisoning soldiers in Germany to protect them from the Warsaw pact at great cost to us in lives and wealth.
    I think we should pull all our forces back and withdraw from all EU related patrols and defences- leave them to it.
    I will say this now- they are NOT our allies or friends- close the border, sink their ships if they enter our EEZ, close the channel tunnel – why not? we could not be worse off if we tried.
    I think a time is soon coming when the UK people’s tolerance of the EU and their greed is at an end- certainly with a proposed £40 billion payment that tolerance is fast coming up.
    I wonder how the NHS and Social care are going to manage this winter? especially as these services in England especially have been starved of funding. Yet we can pay the EU £40 billion.
    It is a disgrace and one I nor any other UK citizen has agreed to or voted for. Has parliament even be asked to vote on this divorce bill? Nope it is just the inept Torries, Saint Teresa and her cronies in the cabinet that have plucked this vast sum of money out of thin air.

    • 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.

    • 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 fires out and also make the ambulances that the highly trained paramedics use to treat us when we need them
      Its the private sector that builds our ships and aircraft and tanks that the armed forces use to protect us
      What im trying to say is dont forget the private sector who where hit just as bad if not harder
      We are ALL in this together (except MPs with there big pay rises)

    • 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 parties have essentially betrayed the people. Really disgraceful.

    • 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 winter

  5. 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 for £40 billion, I don’t believe anyone has officially suggested any figure. But we should not pay a penny, just walk away if the EU continues to obstruct and cut off their own nose to spite their own face.

    As for May’s leadership. She seems extremely poor, which disappoints me as I had high hopes, but considering that every move the government makes regarding brexit is obstructed in Parliament by other parties playing party politics what do people expect? Every setback is gleefully reported by the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation, when in reality such a momentous undertaking such as brexit should be done by a cross party group, with no obstructions.

    Leaving means leaving. It does not mean leaving in name only then remaining in all the institutions that made people vote leave in the first place. Such as –

    Having a EU President no one has heard of or ever voted for.
    Unelected officials making policy whom are not MP’s and thus not accountable to the electorate.
    An inability to control our borders with exactly who comes in, resulting in unsustainable amounts of low skilled economic migrants which puts pressure on our public services, already at breaking point due to an ageing population.
    Paying tens of billions per year for something that is free, trade, which should be spent here on our own public services.
    A resumed ability for the UK, with a history of maritime trade with the world going back centuries, actually being allowed to conduct its own free trade talks with other nations. Wow what a concept for “Little Britain” that is.
    The scandals are endless.

    I feel very strongly about this issue. So strongly in fact that if the political class backslides and has the UK leave the EU in name only while subverting democracy, well, I hope there is civil war.

    They would deserve it, and the “mother of parliaments” would have ignored a democratic vote.

    Such is the result of decades of PC crap and decline in patriotism, pride, and loyalty to ones own nation. How often does one read about people ordered to remove flags because it may “offend” someone?

    God help the UK.

    • 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.

      My guess as per usual most voters don’t have a clue what their voting for, but that democracy and it’s the best system of government we have.

      • 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 _

      • 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 again.

        But to be honest the way the EU is acting at present I’m not sure I would now vote to remain. One of the reasons I voted remain was that the EU gives good economic benefit stability in Europe, another check and balance in government and we could aways leave with ease if it politically started to diverge from what I consider my core values. As is it’s obviously not easy to leave and is really showing what I can only describe as neo imperialist behaviours.

        I’m hoping our government will grow a pair and tell the EU we will only pay the money we are directly committed to in law and we would love to have tarif free trade, also happy to negotiate on residency of EU residents already here. But not a chance on EU residents in this country being covered by EU courts or any EU body having any form of soverenity after we leave that’s just a joke and actually imperialism.

        Angry at both the EU and UK government for being a bunch of incompetent ruling class bags of pus.

        • 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.

      • 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 straight up hurt us out of nothing but spite. How can anyone want to be part of something that tries to punish you anytime you disagree. Did you see the Catalonia independence debacle? Why be accosiated with such barbarous and undemocratic institutions. What has the EU ever done for us, it certainly has not made it any easier for young people to get jobs or get on the property ladder, or improved our public services. Also when I need a lecture on human rights or workers right or democracy I will not be listening to the continent which gave us Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, The Spannish Inquisition, Napoleon or Ceausescu.

  6. 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.

  7. 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….

    • 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 for poured out in support of the armed forces here, by hitting the economy by our vote to leave, we’ve also voted to hit the money we can afford to spend on defence. Which would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

      People here complain about politicians cutting defence spending instead of – say – the NHS or overseas aid. Efficiencies can certainly be made, but changing the basic share going into different departmental pots is not politically likely. Why The electorate aren’t going to vote for it. We might here, but its not enough.

      The ONLY way to grow UK defence spending is to grow the economy, and we’ve chosen not to hamper ourselves in doing that for the next ten years (if you don’t believe me take a look at OECD figures for UK growth compared to a lot of our EU counterparts).

      If people here truly wanted to increase defence spending, they should have voted to Remain. It would have been their best bet. So now we are where we are, and will have to make the best of it. Sad? It’s tragic. Best Tim

      • 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 price to pay for our continued independence and freedom. The EU has proven itself to be exactly what I say, it has ignored democratic votes in member countrys and doomed southern europe to oblivion, all for the benifit of Germany. I suppose I will be one of the comments regarding Brexit that is not worth responding to but I imagine the real reason is you can’t provide a valid defence of the EU or its actions.

  8. 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 more.
    who ever heard of an amicable divorce anyway? The EU will have much more respect for the UK in the future if we do precisely what they do not want and fear we will do. No deal!

    • 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

      • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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 first.

      May be a simplistic argument but blaming everything on Brexit does become somewhat boring.

      • @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

        • 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 could have easily reached an agreement with the previous 1939-1945 “German European Union” and left France etc to their collective doom…… but we didn’t…

          Bottom line is this, this country is owed a huge debt by Europe for two world wars, we paid in destruction, human misery, death and presided over our own total economic destruction to liberate Europe in the 20th Century.

          The way they now threaten us makes me sick to my stomach quite frankly.
          Such a shameful lack of gratitude for our countries enormous sacrifice.

          And don’t say the two things aren’t connected, they absolutely 100% are, the EU is a direct product of European war.

          A successful independent Britain is a huge threat to the EU.

          I would play hard ball, no money after 2019, WTO rules, balls to the single market and watch German and French industry go into meltdown until they come to their collective senses and market forces make the idiots in charge of the EU wake up and smell the coffee.

          Get our trade deal with the US and the Commonwealth sorted and trade with the world again.

          With regard to education, reflect on this, we are historically an independent Maritime world trading economy, our EU dalliance is a 40 year blip.

          We should also demand reparations for our war losses, about 100 billion Euros should do, ungrateful bar Stuart’s…

          • ‘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 3 planemakers were ruling the roost, look at the position today – Airbus, Franco-German-Spanish but with a good British stake, is now toe-to-toe with Boeing as world leader, while MsDonnel Douglas and Lockheed have long since had to abandon civil aviation.

            The same applies increasingly to military equipment, with European helicopters outselling US ones in at least two categories, the Euro Typhoon notching up export orders, the PAAMS missile system ahead of the US legacy system, etc.

            The same applies across a whole range of industries, where European pooling of resources is leading to world-class European chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cars etc etc.

            That’s all from 28 countries working in tandem, agreeing a level playing field regarding government subsidies to competing firms, product safety rules, environmental compliance, worker rights, all the things that allow the 28 to be inter-operable.

            All run by a democratically-elected parliament. When the tabloids squeal away about the ‘unelected Junker and Commissioners’, you have to ask: are the Cabinet and Civil Service heads in the UK ‘elected’ then? Of course they aren’t, they’re appointed behind closed doors! At least in the EU, the 28 all vote on the Commissioners and indeed on Junker, and that’s how the 28 – especially the UK – want it.

            By leaving, we are making a a foolish economic mistake that is going to bite us severely on the backside. The EU is the world’s second largest economy, just a gnat’s whisker off overtaking the USA. We are a small island economy with a greatly-reduced manufacturing base, hence a vast balance-of-payments deficit, as we don’t in reality export very much, because we ain’t got a lot to export.

            Opting out of the EU is economically nuts and every respected economic source has told us that in words of one syllable.

            The relevance here is that our daft nationalist decision will inexorably impinge on the defence budget, which is going to be under greater pressure than ever before, as the Government’s revenue income falls sharply. It is already happening, due to the £ crashing to 1.30 against the dollar, but that is just the start.

            The all-jam-tomorrow brigade claim – based on no evidence or facts – that we will sell lots more things to the wider world and be rich (!). This is the most dangerous pipe-dream: we cannot sell very much at the moment, as (a) we don’t make that much to start with, and (b) we keep losing out to overseas competitors who are making things better, or cheaper, or both.

            PS When we joined the EU in ’73, we has virtually NO exports to the Commonwealth – loads of imports of lamb and butter and aluminium and things, but they were all buying Japanese cars and jeeps and brown goods and white goods, US/Russian/Chinese/French/German military kit, S korean merchant vessels, and so on. We weren’t at the races at all with our Austin Allegros, Nimrods, etc, indeed we joined the EEC IIRC virtually broke with the IMF hard on our heels. There is nothing in British industry to suggest we will be even as successful next time around, which is deeply worrying.

            However, this Brexit stuff needs to be parked on one side, it cuts right across the discussion on defence

    • 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.

  10. 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..

  11. *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..

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