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Montevideo, February 4th 2023 - 21:23 UTC

 

 

Strong lobbying to boost defense spending from Secretary Wallace and Speaker of the House

Saturday, November 5th 2022 - 10:25 UTC
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UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace will urge Jeremy Hunt to boost defense spending during a crunch meeting with the Chancellor. Speaking to Forces News, Ben Wallace says he will “make sure that, in this difficult economic time, defense gets its fair share” at their meeting on Thursday.

He added: “The priority, as I've said, is defense, these days – it's up the political agenda.”

Wallace also reiterated that all the Conservative candidates, in their leadership pitches earlier this year, made pledges about defense spending, adding “the Chancellor himself pledged 3% by 2028”.

On Wednesday, Mr Wallace told the Commons Defense Committee that he will be “fighting for as much money as I can get” for defense when meeting the Chancellor ahead of the 17 November autumn statement.

He also denied that he has threatened to resign if he failed to secure a commitment from Rishi Sunak to increase defense spending as a share of national income.

Finally Wallace said he would like to see defense spending go up “by significant amounts” – but acknowledged he lives “in the real world”.

He said he is “confident” there is a “recognition that defense is moving up the funding priority ladder”. He said it will be revealed in the upcoming budget “how fixed” the new Prime Minister and Chancellor are on raising defense spending to 3% of GDP.

Earlier in the week the Speaker of the House of Commons in an interview with BFBS said MPs should understand the effect their decisions can have on Armed Forces personnel. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said his hunger to support the Armed Forces started after spending some time with the Royal Marines.

“When I came into Parliament I was very, very lucky because I've got an interest in the Armed Forces and you could volunteer to go and get some experience,” he said.

“And that's what I wanted to do, the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, and... I went with the Royal Marines. It was a great experience and it gave me that hunger to support the people who serve this country.

”And I always say if we're going to make the decision on the future of people's lives, whether it is going to war or not, we should be informed.“

Sir Lindsay added that Parliament holds ”a lot of receptions“ in order to promote the work of the UK military.

”Meeting up with different people who serve, it's fantastic what they do,“ he said. ”Young people, dedicated to serving their country and parliamentarians ought to understand, when we vote on something, make sure you know what effect you'll have on their lives.

“They'll let us know they're not happy, but the fact is they serve the country and they will make the difference.”

As well as the role of Honorary Colonel of 3 Medical Regiment, Sir Lindsay also has ties to Gibraltar, became the first Speaker to go to the Falkland Islands and visited personnel in Cyprus earlier this year.

Categories: Politics, International.

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