Sunday Express

PM makes case for the defence


THE Prime Minister has revealed he wants to hold the deepest defence and security review since the Coldwar and is looking to expand Britain’s warship building.

The revelation by Boris Johnson came in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, when he said he would like to increase defence spending.

He said: “Obviously I would like to spend more [on defence]. We are spending more now.we put in another 2.6 per cent increase which I think was more than was expected.

“We are committed to increase defence funding by 0.5 per cent every year above the rate of inflation in the next parliament.”

He said Britain’s new cutting-edge generation of warships could provide a major boost for UK defence and those of its allies. “I would like to see a big expansion in shipbuildi­ng and I think there is a huge opportunit­y in this country. For port communitie­s and for shipyards around the UK there is an opportunit­y to benefit from what can be an immensely lucrative UK business.

“If you look at Govan on the Clyde they are buildingty­pe 26 frigates.the contract for sales to Australia alone is worth £14billion. We are doing more with Canada, New Zealand. If we do a deal with America then it would also be very lucrative.”

He added: “This is about attitude. I can see those vessels as things that not only drive high skilled jobs in this country and also generate income in this country but I also think they can be a force for good.

“Navies around the world with UK frigates will be able to deter pirates, tackle people who smuggle migrants and stop terrorism.” The review will mean a shake-up inwhitehal­l and examine how Britain strengthen­s and prioritise­s alliances, linking defence, foreign policy and security.

There will be a study of ways in which technologi­cal surprise attacks could threaten British security following some high profile computer hacks.

It will also include a review of the purchasing process for the armed forces and intelligen­ce agencies as well as new collaborat­ion with scientists and technology companies.

Mr Johnson said: “Unlike normal defence reviews, this review will extend from the armed forces to the intelligen­ce services, counter-terrorism forces, and serious organised crime.

“We must use money better and undertake a huge technologi­cal upgrade of all our security forces so they are ahead of hostile powers, terrorists and organised crime.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom