Rishi Sunak will increase military spend by £5bn to ‘fortify’ UK defences

Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister

© APA | Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister

# 13 March 2023 03:05 (UTC +04:00)

Rishi Sunak has announced a £5 billion increase in military spending to “fortify our national defences” and face down the threat from Russia and China, APA reports citing the Telegraph.

The Prime Minister will also pledge on Monday to boost military funding to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the long term, significantly less than the 3 per cent uplift previously promised by Liz Truss.

Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, originally sought between £8 billion and £11 billion from the Treasury.

The extra £5 billion, to be delivered over the next two years, will take defence spending to 2.25 per cent of GDP by 2025, up from 2 per cent in 2020. Defence spending in 2021/22 was £71.4 billion, making it the fifth-highest spending area of the UK government for that period.

Mr Sunak unveiled the pledge as he arrived in San Diego for talks with President Joe Biden and Anthony Albanese, the Australian premier, about the Aukus submarine pact.

He said: “We have seen all too clearly in the last year how global crises impact us at home, with Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine driving up energy and food prices.

“We will fortify our national defences, from economic security to technology supply chains and intelligence expertise, to ensure we are never again vulnerable to the actions of a hostile power.”

Over £3 billion will be invested in nuclear defence, including delivering Aukus, while £1.9 billion will be used to replenish munitions stockpiles depleted by donations to Ukraine. However, military figures questioned why no money had been specifically allocated to land warfare.

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