The latest Commons Defence Committee report, “Indispensable allies: US, NATO, and UK Defence relations” has recommended that the UK Government should increase its defence budget.
The British lawmakers have argued that if the UK sticks to NATO’s 2% of GDP defence spending recommendation and does not increase spending in the current political climate, it could lose influence with the US and other allies.
New investment could be spent on the preparation of resources for the Armed Forces and to bolster Britain’s anti-submarine warfare and cyber security against foreign threats like Russia.
What has been recommended?
The UK Government is currently meeting NATO’s 2% spending target; however, the Commons Defence Committee has suggested that the defence budget rises from 2% of GDP (£40bn) to 3% (£60bn).
The Commons Defence Committee has concluded that, without further investment, the UK could struggle to maintain its defence relationship with the US. The report states that:
“Diminished capacity reduces the UK’s usefulness to the US and our influence within NATO. The Government must not allow this to happen.”
This recommendation has come ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels next month, where the US is expected to make further demands of its European allies.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence has responded to the reports, noting that:
“The UK maintains the biggest defence budget in Europe, we have been clear we will continue to exceed NATO’s 2% spending target.
“The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme to strengthen our Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats.”
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