Thursday, November 19, 2020

Reversing years of cuts, Britain announces sharp increase in defense spending

The U.K. government announced its biggest increase in defense spending since the Cold War in a bid to secure its position as the U.S.’s main military ally in Europe after Brexit.

The U.K. will spend an additional 24.1 billion pounds, equivalent to $32 billion, over the next four years compared with last year’s budget. That is £16.5 billion more than the government had already pledged, securing the U.K.’s rank as the second-highest spender on defense in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization behind the U.S.

“I have done this in the teeth of the pandemic amid every other demand on our resources because the defense of the realm and the safety of the British people must come first,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament on Thursday.

The U.K. shouldn’t be “content to curl up on our island and leave the task to our friends,” he said.

“Britain must be true to our history, to stand alongside our allies,” he said. “To achieve this, we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.”

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