Defense Secretary says Britain will increase armed forces spending by at least £52bn

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says Britain will increase armed forces spending by at least £52billion in response to Russian aggression

  • Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says UK will increase the size of its armed forces
  • Government to spend at least £52bn in response to Russian aggression
  • Mr Wallace said there would be an annual defense budget of £100m by 2030
  • He denounced the Treasury’s ‘corporate raid’ on the armed forces since the 1990s

Britain’s armed forces are set to grow in size as the government prepares to boost its military budget by at least £52billion in response to Russian aggression, the defense secretary has said.

Ben Wallace said new Prime Minister Liz Truss would stick to her campaign promise to increase defense spending by 3% and that the military “is actually going to grow”.

The 52-year-old said the rise in Russian aggression over the past two years, culminating in its illegal invasion of Ukraine, “are no longer risks I want to tolerate”.

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Wallace welcomed plans to increase the annual defense budget to around £100billion by 2030 – a ‘huge’ increase of £52billion on the previous year. current sum.

He said the armed forces have spent decades defending themselves “against cuts or reconciling cuts with modern combat” and attacked former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Treasury for its “corporate raid” on the armed forces since the 1990s.

Spending on the UK Armed Forces is set to rise by £52billion in response to Russian aggression. Pictured: Crew members of the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales walk on the flight deck

“To the point that the Rishi Treasury is trying to stipulate the size of the army,” Mr Wallace added.

“My department has been so used to 30 or 40 years of defending against cuts or reconciling cuts with modern day fighting, they’re going to have to get used to a completely different culture, which is to say we’re going to to actually grow, we’re going to actually change.

The Defense Secretary was reappointed after backing Ms Truss in the Tory leadership race – a stance he took when Mr Sunak ignored her demands during the review integrated (RI) of 2021 of defense and security.

“The reason I supported Liz Truss was that the risks we were willing to tolerate mid-decade are no longer risks I want to tolerate in light of Russian aggression,” Wallace said. the newspaper.

“There are certain risks that we can no longer really take. And that’s why I wrote to the Chancellor last March telling him that the things that we didn’t get in the IR that we requested, we need.

With Kwasi Kwarteng now at the head of the government purse strings, Mr Wallace seemed to imply that relations between the two departments would be much smoother.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has denounced former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Treasury for his

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has denounced former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Treasury for their ‘corporate raid’ on the defense budget since the 1990s. Pictured: Mr Wallace (centre) talks to the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir Nick Carter (right)

“The reality is that we will work with the Treasury to ensure that we have a budget that increases to meet the threat and our ambitions,” he said.

“Kwasi is going to be a big open chancellor… He’s not going to close the door to number 11 and hide behind it.”

It comes after the Prime Minister repeated his campaign pledge to spend 3% of GDP on defense by 2030 to fellow world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Shortly before leaving for the US, Ms Truss revealed she had ordered an IR update which was released in March 2021. Unveiled by Boris Johnson, she had seen the size of the army reduced by 9,500 and a third of its ranks removed.

The update, which is expected to be released by the end of 2022, will be led by the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Professor John Bew.

In a statement that focused primarily on his speech at the UN, Downing Street also revealed that an “updated strategy” of the IR “will ensure that we invest in the strategic capabilities and alliances we need to resist the coercion of authoritarian powers like Russia and China”. .

Advertising