Hornchurch and Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, has welcomed new defence funding which will help protect our country and bring tens of thousands of jobs to every corner of the Union of the UK.
This is the largest investment in the nation’s defence in the last 30 years, providing out defence budget with an extra £24.1 billion over the next four years. The commitment will allow the Government to invest in cutting-edge technology, positioning the UK as a global leader in domains such as cyber and space and cement the UK’s position as the largest defence spender in Europe and the second largest in NATO. The funding will be used to create a National Cyber Force and Artificial Intelligence agency and a new ‘Space Command’ with the first rocket launched from Scotland by 2022.
This funding delivers and surpasses the Manifesto commitment to exceed the NATO defence spending target of 2 per cent of GDP – by providing an extra £16.5 billion in funding above our 2019 commitment.
Over the next four years this funding will help create 10,000 jobs a year, through investment in our world leading defence industry and revitalising British shipbuilding. These jobs will reflect the expertise and ingenuity of British people both inside and outside our Armed Forces, harnessing the UK’s skills in construction and science and reinvigorating those industries in the coming decades.
Commenting, Julia said "I am a firm supporter of our Armed Forces and am delighted that we are providing them with the largest financial boost since the Cold War, while both meeting and exceeding our Manifesto commitment to increase defence spending. This is good news for constituencies across the country like ours who will not only benefit from the security this investment will bring but also the jobs and prosperity the direct and indirect investment will bring to our defence industry and its supply chains."
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said “I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first. The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies. To achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board. This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”