Gavin Williamson says the UK will remain a tier-one military power

On a recent visit to Washington, UK Defence secretary Gavin Williamson insisted that the UK and US must remain reliable partners.

During his visit, Mr Williamson held talks with James Mattis, his US counterpart. During these talks, Mr Williamson stressed that the UK has “got to spend more because of the increasing threat that the world faces.”

Find out more about Mr Williamson’s defence plans below.


The UK must “always” be a tier one military power

The meeting with Mr Mattis was an incredibly important one for Mr Williamson. Earlier this summer the United States Secretary of Defense urged Mr Williamson to spend more than NATO’s recommended spend of 2% of GDP or risk the UK losing its place as America’s closest military ally in Europe.

During his speech in Washington DC on 7 August 2018, he noted that he would like to maintain the UK’s reputation as  one of the world’s elite military nations:

“We start from the strongest of foundations, Britain is a major global actor. We have always been a tier one military power and we always will be a tier one military power.”

In June this year Mrs May refused to commit to a spending increase for the MOD. However, Mr Williamson has challenged this, and insists that the defence budget must be increased.


Defence spending after Brexit

Mr Williamson also answered questions surrounding defence spending post Brexit. The Defence Secretary presented the post-Brexit situation in a very positive light, saying that Britain will be “freed to reach further and aim higher”. He noted that when the UK leaves the EU, the country:

“will remain a nation that champions those fundamental values of freedom, democracy, and tolerance, we will remain a global trading nation and we will remain a global force for good.”


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