MP says Government should spend at least 2% of GDP on Defence
Following an application to the Back Bench Business Committee, which was supported by MPs of all parties, John Baron MP has secured a debate calling on the Government to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence, in line with our NATO commitment. The debate will take place on Thursday, 12th March, and 30 MPs have so far leant their support.
“At a time when countries not necessarily friendly to the West are increasing their defence spending and are becoming more assertive, the Government’s defence cuts have left Britain exposed. That the top general in the US Army feels he has to make clear his concerns at our loss of capability and manpower should give us real pause for thought.”
“Well-resourced and capable Armed Forces give the Government more foreign policy options and send a clear message to friends and potential adversaries alike, which can help avoid conflict later on. An under-resourced and less capable military sends the opposite message. Our continuing defence cuts mean we risk falling into the latter trap.”
“At the very least, I will be calling upon the Government to fulfil its NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence. After all, the Prime Minister implored fellow NATO members to reach this level at last year’s NATO summit. Falling below this level ourselves would be a grave mistake.”
Notes to Editors:
John has long opposed the Government’s defence reforms. This has included:
o Securing and participating in Back Bench debates on defence spending, the MoD’s misguided Reservist plans and the disbandment of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF).
o Organising two large marches of ex-Fusiliers on Parliament in protest at the plans to disband 2RRF.
o Constantly pressing the Government on defence in Parliament via Defence Oral Questions, Written Questions and Urgent Questions, the latter particularly on the slow rate of Reservist recruitment.
o Sending letters to MoD Ministers, in conjunction with other Back Benchers, with concerns about defence cuts and the loss of capabilities.
o Putting forward amendments to the Defence Reform Bill in November 2013, questioning the MoD’s policy of replacing 20,000 Regular soldiers with 30,000 Reservists. Despite Labour and Conservative Back Bench support, the Government won the vote.
o Writing articles in the media questioning the Government’s defence reforms.