Thursday, November 19, 2020

Enhancing Britain's defence

It is often used to be said "the first responsibility of government is the defence of the realm."

Perhaps since the end of the Cold War we don't hear the subject discussed often enough.

But the world is not and has never been a completely safe place and from time to timewe need to stop and ask ourselves whether our country's defences are strong enough.

That's why, today, the Prime Minister outlines the largest boost to our nation’s defence in the last 30 years, investing an extra £24 billion in our national security - creating thousands of jobs across the UK.

  • As a nation we face an international situation that is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War. Britain must continue to be true to our history and stand alongside our allies - to achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.
  • This commitment is the largest investment in our nation’s defence since the end of the Cold War, giving Britain's defence budget an extra £24.1 billion over the next four years. This both delivers and surpasses the Conservative manifesto commitment to exceed the NATO defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP - by providing an extra £16.5 billion in funding above our 2019 commitment.
  • This funding will help us build back better from coronavirus by creating 10,000 new jobs a year, revitalising British shipbuilding and ensure that the United Kingdom is a global, outward-looking nation now we have left the EU. It also sends a clear message to our allies that they can always count on the UK.
  • This funding will also make it possible to invest in cutting-edge technology, positioning the UK as a global leader in cyber, space and shipbuilding. To support these advancements the Prime Minister also announces today: 

    • A new agency dedicated to Artificial Intelligence.
    • The creation of a National Cyber Force, to protect our people from harm.
    • A new ‘Space Command’, with the first rocket launched from Scotland by 2022.
    • A commitment to finance the UK’s order of 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31 frigates, which are currently being constructed on the Clyde, creating thousands of jobs.
    • A further commitment to build Britain's next generation warships – the Type 32 – here in the UK
  • This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces and bolster our global influence. The returns of this investment will go far beyond our Armed Forces, creating thousands of jobs, reinforcing the Union and levelling up our country

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