Does the UK need to spend more on Defence?

January 12, 2019 4:25 PM
By Brenner Munden in Brentwood Gazette

UK Armed ForcesIn a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in 2017 it found out that the UK spent $47.2 billion (Approx. £35.5) in defence- which ranked us seventh in the world.

The MOD has also declared that in the past 8 years, the UK has met NATO's 2% GDP target for defence expenditure and in 2017/18 spent £1 billion on military operations. The planned £41 billion project to upgrade Trident (Dreadnought
programme) is also expected to cost £2.2 billion a year to run- for the next 30 years.

Military leaders have called for increase spending, but is it necessary? Fortunately, we have our special relationship with the USA, who according to SIPRI "spent more on its military than the next seven highest-spending
countries combined" which surely overwhelms any threat to the UK.

Few countries pose a threat to Mainland Britain; therefore, spending should be focused on security services that prevent terror attacks and for stronger anti-
cyber-attack systems and not on military investments. Furthermore, joint-state organisations (e.g. Europol) is a way to unite and further protect ourselves,
something Brexit may compromise.

The Liberal Democrats commit to defence spending as well as working towards worldwide nuclear disarmament. However, spending on defence can be saved
by cutting expensive military ceremonial events and; to think that we have recently started pulling troops out of the Rhineland since WW2, where else can
money be saved?

Currently the UK has a failing NHS, a major housing crisis and cuts to education and infrastructure which is being overshadowed by billions of tax payer's
money to fund unnecessary expensive technology to 'keep up to date'. This equipment was of course unhelpful for such wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, a sufficient and respectable amount of spending should be allocated to defence to keep UK and her territories protected.

This article appeared in the Talking Point section of the Brentwood Gazette in November 2018.