In a speech to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister set out a £16.5 billion increase above the manifesto commitment over four years that will protect UK citizens, build back better from coronavirus by creating thousands of new jobs and demonstrate to our allies they can always count on the UK.
Our defence forces are operating in a rapidly changing world and this spending increase recognises the need for them to undertake a generational modernisation programme in order to defend the UK, our allies and the world’s most vulnerable people. In the modern world, those that seek to do harm to people in the UK can be done so via mobile phones in or computers. To protect our citizens, our nations defence force needs to operate at all times with leading, cutting-edge technology.
Therefore, Robin was especially pleased with the creating of a National Cyber Force and Artificial Intelligence agency – to protect people in the UK and Worcester from harm. The new Cyber Force, will be a joint unit between the MoD and GCHQ, will help to protect Britons at home from cyberattack but will also deploy offensive capabilities against adversaries.
Our Armed Forces are also working in a broader range of areas than ever before to protect the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world. Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK over 20,000 personnel have been made available to deliver PPE, run testing sites and ensure those in the most remote areas can receive the medical care they need.
These projects are expected to create up to 10,000 thousand jobs annually across the UK and 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.
Speaking after the announcement, Robin said:
It was a hugely important announcement from our Prime Minister today – supporting our armed forces is vital and boosting the capacity for the U.K. to be a force for good in the world is the right thing to do.
I believe in our Armed Forces, and giving them the largest financial boost since in decades helps to ensure that our nation’s national defence can modernise, plan for the future and adapt to the new threats we face. Our new Cyber Force will help to protect the people of Worcester from cyber attack.
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.
The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said:
This is excellent news for Defence, and provides us with the financial certainty we need to modernise, plan for the future and adapt to the threats we face. It demonstrates the Prime Minister’s recognition of how important Defence is to our resilience and to the reputation of the United Kingdom.
This settlement secures UK jobs and livelihoods, allows us to invest in our fantastic shipyards and aerospace industry, spreading prosperity to every corner of the UK.
Next year represents a huge opportunity for this country, and Defence will be at the forefront of creating the jobs and business opportunities that will help us build back from the pandemic.
Over the next few months I will set out in more detail our ambitious agenda for Defence.