Boris Johnson pledged to “restore Britain’s position as the number one naval power in Europe” as part of an estimated billions of pounds increase in defense spending.
The Prime Minister, Speaking as shown new A multi-year financing package Before the House of Commons, he warned that “the international situation is now more dangerous and fiercely competitive than at any time since the Cold War.”
Johnson has promised to invest an additional 16.5 billion pounds in defense spending over the next four years.
This is in addition to the Conservatives ’commitment in the statement to increase the defense budget by at least 0.5% above inflation every year.
In total, the Prime Minister said this would add an increase of £ 24.1 billion in defense spending over the next four years.
Downing Street hailed the largest UK defense investment program since the end of the Cold War, which he said would also see 40,000 jobs be created.
Johnson told Members of Parliament that the UK defense budget has been “squeezed and cheese squeezed” for decades and that he “has decided that the era of cutting the defense budget must end, and it’s over now”.
“Our national security within 20 years will depend on the decisions we make today,” the Prime Minister told the House of Commons via a video link, while continuing to isolate himself on Downing Street.
“I did so in light of the pandemic, amid every other demand for our resources, because defending the kingdom and the safety of the British people must come first.”
Focusing on his future relationship with US President-elect Joe Biden, the prime minister praised the way the UK will now invest more than any other European country in defense projects and more than any other NATO ally, except America.
In determining how the new money will be spent, the prime minister claimed that the money will help “catalyze the renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK – in Glasgow, Roseth, Belfast, Appliedor and Birkenhead”.
In his promise to “restore Britain’s position as the number one naval power in Europe,” he added, “If there is one policy that strengthens the United Kingdom in every sense of the word, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy.”
He said the government would seek to “develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research ships and Type 32 frigates.”
Johnson also outlined plans to focus the expanded defense budget on “technologies that will revolutionize warfare”, such as “directed energy weapons” that use “inexhaustible lasers.”
Members of Parliament have reported a £ 1.5 billion investment in military research and development, a new center dedicated to artificial intelligence and space leadership for the RAF to launch British satellites and “our first missile from Scotland in 2022”.
The Prime Minister also affirmed the establishment of a national cyber force that would actually operate via computer networks against terrorism, organized crime and hostile states.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed that the government issued the spending announcement – which comes before the publication of a review of UK foreign, defense, development and security policy early next year – without “a clear strategy or coherent vision for Britain in the world”.
“I know the prime minister is always keen to talk about the parts of government that he enjoys – big ads, space programs, shooting at the moon,” he said.
“But this statement shows that the government still lacks a clear strategy or a coherent vision for Britain in the world, or any idea of how to fulfill the promises made by the prime minister.”
Sir Kerr also questioned how the increased defense spending would be paid off, asking whether it would be financed by additional borrowing, tax increases, or pressure on other government departments.
The prime minister has come under pressure from former Conservative government ministers Andrew Mitchell and Jeremy Hunt to resist cutting UK foreign aid spending in order to help pay off new defense commitments.
It has been reported that the government could temporarily reduce UK foreign aid spending target from 0.7% to 0.5% of GNI, after massive spending to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson said the UK could be proud of its record in foreign aid and would continue to “lead the world”.
“This statement relates to defense and security, and there is no reading on any other topic,” he added.