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

March 18, 2014

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 [].

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.”


Word Count: 222

Date: 18th March 2014

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