John Baron MP presses Foreign Secretary on defence spending during Ukraine debate

March 18, 2014
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MP says Crimea holds lessons which need to be heeded

During the debate in the House of Commons today on the Ukraine, John Baron MP has described events in Crimea as a wake-up call, and again argued that Britain needs to spend more on its Armed Forces. This follows a fuller explanation in Hansard and his column published last week [http://goo.gl/nvX5CI].

In the debate, John asked,

“Whilst no-one is advocating military intervention, the fact Russia has put 20,000 troops into Crimea perhaps is a reminder that we should be spending more on our Armed Forces. We may have the fifth-largest defence budget, but we rank nearer 30th in our capability to deploy forces overseas, which is a nonsense given the extent of our global interests.”

The Foreign Secretary reminded the House that we spend 2% of GDP on defence, more than some other NATO countries, but would not be drawn on the question.

John said afterwards,

“Events in Ukraine are yet again another wake-up call to the West. It reminds us that powerful countries not necessarily friendly to the West are increasing their defence spending, and are becoming increasingly assertive. This is significant – Britain has global interests and, in concert with allies but alone if necessary, needs to defend these.”

Ends

Word Count: 222

Date: 18th March 2014

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