Today, the Prime Minister will outline the largest boost our nation’s defence in the last 30 years, investing an extra £24 billion in our national security - creating thousands of jobs across the UK.
As a nation we face an international situation that is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War. Britain must continue to be true to our history and stand alongside our allies - to achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board. To protect our citizens, UK Defence therefore needs to operate at all times with leading, cutting-edge technology.
This commitment is the largest investment in our nation’s defence since the end of the Cold War, giving our defence budget an extra £24.1 billion over the next four years. This both delivers and surpasses our manifesto commitment to exceed the NATO defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP - by providing an extra £16.5 billion in funding above our 2019 commitment.
This funding will help us build back better from coronavirus by creating 10,000 new jobs a year, revitalising British shipbuilding and ensure that the United Kingdom is a global, outward-looking nation now we have left the EU. It also sends a clear message to our allies that they can always count on the UK.
This funding will allow us to invest in cutting-edge technology, positioning the UK as a global leader in cyber, space and shipbuilding. To support these advancements the Prime Minister will also announce:
- A new agency dedicated to Artificial Intelligence.
- The creation of a National Cyber Force, to protect our people from harm.
- A new ‘Space Command’, with the first rocket launched from Scotland by 2022.
- A commitment to finance the UK’s order of 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31 frigates, which are currently being constructed on the Clyde, creating thousands of jobs.
- A further commitment to build our next generation warships – the Type 32 – here in the UK
This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces and bolster our global influence. The returns of this investment will go far beyond our Armed Forces, creating thousands of jobs, reinforcing the Union and levelling up our country.
Our Armed Forces are also working in a broader range of areas than ever before to protect the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world. Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK over 20,000 personnel have been made available to deliver PPE, run testing sites and ensure those in the most remote areas can receive the medical care they need.
Defence has also been on the front line responding to every major international humanitarian disaster of the last decade. In the last year alone HMS Enterprise has come to the aid of Lebanon following the explosion in the Port of Beirut, RFA Argus and Army personnel have delivered disaster relief to Central American countries ravaged by Hurricane Eta, and the RAF has transported vital medical supplies to communities struggling against coronavirus in West Africa and the UK’s Overseas Territories.
For any more information on the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-to-announce-largest-military-investment-in-30-years.
For more information on how the Government’s record defence pledge will protect Scottish security and jobs, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pms-record-defence-pledge-to-protect-scottish-security-and-jobs.