Modernising Defence Programme

25th January 2018

Keith Simpson calls on Defence Secretary to ensure his defence proposals are properly funded by the Treasury.

I have every sympathy with the Secretary of State: over the last two days when this was going to be announced, it was the old Army motto “knickers on, knickers off”, which many of us are familiar with.

A number of colleagues, including my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), have pointed to the crucial matter of money. Twenty years ago, the Labour Government carried out an enormous strategic defence review, which on the whole was well received, but it was never funded. Has the Secretary of State any confidence at all that his recommendations will actually be funded by the Treasury?

Yes; I very much hope that the recommendations of the programme will be listened to closely by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Its whole aim is to give the armed forces the opportunity clearly to set out our case for the resources that we need going forward.

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