24 Sep 2014

Cameron urged to ringfence defence spending

Summary: Prime Minister David Cameron has been lobbied to increase state spending on Britain’s armed forces for a full five years, according to a lobbying group of military experts and retired commanders.

British military lobby the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) wrote an open letter to Mr Cameron urging that Britain’s military might would no longer be credible unless the MOD’s budget was secured following the next General Election in 2016.

To be a credible force in urging NATO Europe to allocate more to the body’s defence funding pool, “Britain has to set an example,” co-author of the letter Allen Sykes stressed.

However, with austerity measures expected to have an impact upon British governance for years to come regardless of the outcome of the election, the party that comes to power in May 2015 will find it extremely difficult to meet NATO’s funding demands of 2% of GDP without implementing serious cuts in other areas of public spending.

Mr Sykes said: “If our defence is to be credible, it has to be ringfenced. We already ringfence schools, the NHS and international aid. Unless we also ringfence our increased defence expenditure, we are sending a signal to our opponents and allies that defence is not our priority.”

Mr Sykes continued: “To be credible in getting NATO Europe to spend more money, Britain has to set an example.”