‘Britain will be Bel­gium with nukes’

ANGER AT DE­FENCE ‘CUTS’

Daily Star - - News - By ANTONY THROWER [email protected]­lystar.co.uk

A NEW round of Army cuts could leave Britain like “Bel­gium with nukes”.

An­other 14,000 troops could be slashed un­der con­tro­ver­sial cost-cut­ting mea­sures.

And the Min­istry of De­fence is also con­sid­er­ing com­bin­ing elite units of para­troop­ers with the Royal Marines.

Gen­eral Sir Richard Bar­rons, a for­mer head of Joint Forces Com­mand, said: “We’ll be like Bel­gium with nukes.

“De­fence has painted a pic­ture of cuts of such mag­ni­tude, given the jour­ney of re­duc­tions trav­elled over years, that they would break the in­sti­tu­tion.”

Tory, Labour and SNP MPs have all raised con­cerns over the prospect of cuts to the Armed Forces.

Tory for­mer de­fence min­is­ter Mark ® Fran­cois said such a re­duc­tion in man­power would be “sheer folly”.

He told the Com­mons yes­ter­day: “At a time when we face a resur­gent Rus­sia... re­duc­ing the Army in this way would send en­tirely the wrong sig­nals to the Rus­sians about our com­mit­ments to Nato and will­ing­ness to up­hold the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of our al­lies.”

De­fence min­is­ter To­bias Ell­wood said the MoD had “no in­ten­tion of leav­ing the UK less safe”.

And an MoD spokesman said: “A whole range of op­tions have been dis­cussed as part of the cross-gov­ern­ment re­view on how to best pro­tect our coun­try.

“No de­ci­sions have been taken and any talk of an out­come is pure spec­u­la­tion.”

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