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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 17:16 UTC



PM Sunak announces a 'turning point' for European history and landmark for the defense of the UK

Wednesday, April 24th 2024 - 09:00 UTC
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Mr Sunak, was in Warsaw, alongside Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps (Pic Forces News) Mr Sunak, was in Warsaw, alongside Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Defense Secretary Grant Shapps (Pic Forces News)
PM Sunak next to Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg PM Sunak next to Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday April 23 announced the biggest strengthening of the UK’s national defense in a generation, with a fully funded plan to grow the defense budget to 2.5% of GDP by 2030. 

Delivering a speech alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Poland, and Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, a country at the vanguard of the continent’s defense, the Prime Minister said we are at a turning point in European security and urged allies to step up.

An axis of autocratic states like Russia, Iran and China are increasingly working together to undermine democracies and reshape the world order. They are also investing heavily in their own militaries and in cyber capabilities and in low-cost technology, like the Shahed attack drones Iran fired towards Israel last weekend. 

This poses a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of people in the UK, as well as across Europe and the wider world. The Government has already committed record investment in defense and the UK armed forces are world-leading – but the Prime Minister has said that we must take further action now to deter these growing threats. 

With today’s announcement, UK defense spending will increase immediately and then rise steadily to reach £87 billion at the end the decade – hitting 2.5% of GDP by 2030. 

The Prime Minister has set out three areas of focus for our bolstered defense budget:

Firing up the UK defense industrial base: Investing at least an additional £10 billion over the next decade on munitions production, delivering high-quality jobs and investment across the UK and ensuring we have rapid production capacity and stockpiles of next-generation munitions.

Modernizing our Armed Forces: Radically reforming defense procurement and creating a new Defense Innovation Agency to ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of modern warfare technology, with at least 5% of the defense budget to be committed to R&D.

Backing Ukraine’s defense: Ukraine’s security is our security. As part of this plan, the Government will commit an additional £500 million this year for the ammunition, air defence and drones Ukraine needs; the largest-ever single delivery of military equipment to Ukraine’s frontlines; and a cast-iron commitment to maintain existing levels of support to Ukraine for as long as it Is needed.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent. As our adversaries align, we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values.

“That is why today I have announced the biggest strengthening of our national defence for a generation. We will increase defense spending to a new baseline of 2.5% of GDP by 2030 – a plan that delivers an additional £75 billion for defense by the end of the decade and secures our place as by far the largest defense power in Europe.

“Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defense of the United Kingdom. It is a generational investment in British security and British prosperity, which makes us safer at home and stronger abroad.”

This is a fully-funded plan to deliver the biggest transformation of our national defense since the Cold War, moving from an aspiration to spend 2.5% by an unspecified date to a costed commitment to do so in 2030. 

Defense spending will increase immediately and rise linearly – with a further £500 million for Ukraine this year and overall increase of £3 billion in the next financial year. Today’s announcement will see an additional £75 billion for defense over the next six years, with defense spending expected to reach £87 billion a year in 2030.

This sets a new standard for other major European NATO economies to follow. If all NATO countries committed at least 2.5% of their GDP to defense, our collective budget would increase by more than £140 billion.

Categories: Politics, International.

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