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Kandler
(@kandler)
Member A-team
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 98
31/07/2019 2:52 pm  

Was Donald Trump right to criticise Britain's record on defence spending? Should there be more investment? Is the world safer or more dangerous? And how should the money be invested?

Closes 11.59pm on 4th August.

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Labour Party Adviser
Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence Moderator
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Quote
William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 260
31/07/2019 3:22 pm  

The need for significant investment in our military isn't something that needs to be pointed out by an American presidential candidate, it's a fact we've known about for a very long time. In 2011, some 5 years ago, the House of Commons Defense Select Committee released a report highlighting the damage caused by the 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review and the need for renewed support for the armed forces. The past is the past; what matters now is that we commit to a future where our armed forces are properly funded, properly staffed, and properly modernized to meet the challenges of an increasingly dangerous world. The rise of ISIL and the increasingly aggressive Russia make it clear that Britain will need to be prepared for both conventional and unconventional threats. The only way to meet those threats is by committing significant new funding to the military in order to expand its size, makeup for the deficit in proper equipment, and invest in modern technology to ensure we are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. 

When it comes to our national defense, the boldest choices are the safest ones. I look forward to outlining the Conservative Party's strategy in the coming weeks as to just how we plan to revamp our great armed forces. 

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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William (Will) Conway
(@will-conway)
MP for Milton Keynes North
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 99
31/07/2019 4:54 pm  

What Donald Trump doesn't know about Great Britain could fill Wembley Stadium.  His intervention is unneeded and unwelcome.  Great Britain is committed to our own defense and will decide this matter in our own way.  I believe that we must work with our NATO allies, particularly those allies within the European Union, to strengthen our common defense posture.

Will Conway
Conservative
MP for Milton Keynes North (2014- )
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy,
Environment and Climate Change (2016)

Parliamentary 16
Media 14
Policy 8


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 560
31/07/2019 5:20 pm  

The Conservative Party are committed to meeting the 2% of GDP target for national defence, a target that Labour's recent cuts in the order of £3bn last year have seen us miss. In our upcoming Shadow Budget we will deliver a real terms increase in military funding to bring us back to the 2% target mandated by NATO and we pledge to keep funding at that level as a minimum for the entirety of any future Conservative Government. That being said Mr Trump's interjection is most unwelcome, an alliance is only as strong as its weakest member and the United Kingdom is far from NATO's weakest member. We have pulled our weight as a leading member of NATO since its inception and there isn't a politician in Westminster, except maybe the Green Party, who would see that change.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 260
31/07/2019 7:14 pm  

The Government's record on defense spending is abysmal. In their last budget, while the British economy was growing and expanding, they chose to spend barely 1.9% of our GDP on military spending, cutting military spending by £3 billion over last year's budget. This decision not only fails to meet the commitment we've made to honor the NATO spending goal of 2% of GDP, it also means that our military continues to be underfunded, understaffed, and underprepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.

 I refuse to sit by as this Government prepares to release another budget that fails to properly fund our armed forces, or worse, fails to honor the armed forces triple lock as they've nearly done in the past. We need a Government that will invest in new land equipment, a modernized surface and submarine fleet, and sixth generation military technology to keep us on par with the strongest militaries around the globe. We need a military budget that focuses not on the challenges of today, but on the challenges we will face over the next 10 years. That's what a Conservative Government will deliver.

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Caroline Blakesley
(@caroline-blakesley)
Prime Minister & MP for Hammersmith
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 158
31/07/2019 7:57 pm  

No government in recent years has a sterling record on defence. The Conservative-led government forced austerity to the extreme on our armed forces - cancelling numerous projects with no replacement in mind. The Labour-led government identified numerous cost savings in the Ministry of Defence, but failed to reinvest those savings in strengthening our armed forces. There is plenty of blame to go around - but what matters is what gets done about it. Under my leadership, this Government is committed to providing critical investment in defence, not only to reach our NATO requirements, but to fundamentally transform our fighting force.

Caroline Blakesley
Prime Minister
MP for Hammersmith

Parliamentary: Unknown (13)
Media: Unknown (17)
Policy: Unknown (18)


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General Goose
(@general-goose)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 362
31/07/2019 9:57 pm  

Recent underfunding of Defence is an area where all parties should, rightly, shoulder their share of the blame. We made a mistake in the last budget, where we used savings in areas such as renegotiated contracts for the purpose of deficit reduction rather than reinvestment, and that is why we fell below the target of 2%. We will meet the 2% target - as well as other critical commitments for our place in the world, such as the 0.7% overseas development target that the Conservatives have disregarded despite it being so critical in our efforts against the causes of extremism and conflict. But because of this government's relentless pursuit of efficiency savings and rationalisations, resources will go further than before, and that is something to be proud of. 

Graham Adiputera (Lib Dem - Sutton and Cheam)
Deputy Prime Minister
Liberal Democrat Leader
Foreign Secretary
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Technology

Parliamentary - 36
Media - 53
Policy - 48


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Meredith Hansen-Charles
(@mhc)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 106
31/07/2019 10:45 pm  

No party is blameless when it comes to defence underspending and we should all take an equal share of the blame, but I am glad to see a re-commitment from the three main parties to ensure that we meet our target of 2% of GDP on defence but also that our Armed Forces are properly equipped. I am also proud of our continued commitment to meet not only defence spending targets but to international aid as well for a strong foreign policy is dependent on our capacity and willingness to respond to humanitarian crises and other conflicts with well trained personnel, but also with the willingness to aid in the rebuilding process. Despite the blame we should accept, Mr Trump's comments are completely unwelcome and his threats to the future stability of NATO are incredibly dangerous. When candidates for the US Presidency seek to abandon its leadership role it only casts doubt over their commitment to their long standing alliances. If this rhetoric continues Britain must ensure that it's own security is ensured and we might need to look to other partners to ensure that security, such as greater co-operation with our European partners.

Meredith Hansen-Charles
Cambridge
Secretary of State for Education
Minister for Women and Equalities

"Meredith Hansen-Charles...is a deity" - Kandler/The Times


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Sir Geoffrey Birch
(@sir-geoffrey)
MP for Bexhill & Battle
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 98
31/07/2019 10:58 pm  

The Nato 2% target was met every single year under the Conservatives. To say otherwise is to lie to the British people.

Sir Geoffrey Birch | Conservative Party
MP for Bexhill & Battle (2001-present)
Former MP for Northampton South (1983-1997)
Parliamentary experience: Novice (28)
Media experience: Novice (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (12)

Formerly: Deborah Carpenter, Conservative, MP for Hertford & Stortford, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer


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Sir Geoffrey Birch
(@sir-geoffrey)
MP for Bexhill & Battle
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 98
31/07/2019 11:00 pm  

Under this Lib-Lab Government, defence spending has dropped to the extent that our nation is singled out for a rebuke by one of the major party nominees for the presidency of our greatest ally. That is a humiliation of the highest order. The Britain I know is one who defends herself and pays her dues. The Government must make amends immediately.

Sir Geoffrey Birch | Conservative Party
MP for Bexhill & Battle (2001-present)
Former MP for Northampton South (1983-1997)
Parliamentary experience: Novice (28)
Media experience: Novice (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (12)

Formerly: Deborah Carpenter, Conservative, MP for Hertford & Stortford, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 260
31/07/2019 11:07 pm  

Unlike the last Conservative-led Government, that governed during a period of global recession, this Coalition Government passed two budgets during a period of economic expansion yet continuously failed to meet NATO's 2% of GDP spending commitment. So my apologies if I have trouble taking her word for it when the Prime Minister says this time the Government promises to meet that commitment. These empty promises come from a Government that neglected to mention military spending in their Coalition Agreement even once, and that by their own admission views the Defense budget as an opportunity to make economies. The Coalition Government is more than happy to spend billions of pounds on incoherent investment projects that are yet to return virtually any value to the taxpayer, but can't find the funding to meet a simple 2% of GDP spending pledge. 

Empty promises are the hallmark of this Government, and I'm not buying this one. They talk a big game about military spending now that this has become a major political issue, but where was that passion for properly funding our armed forces when they slashed £3 billion pounds from the Defense budget?

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Faye Gallacher
(@faye-gallacher)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 247
31/07/2019 11:45 pm  

When the Conservatives were in government, they slashed defence spending by over £5 billion and inflicted the austerity that ravaged our schools and hospitals on our military. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

The government has, largely, not conducted the same level of cuts - most of this is money that has been saved naturally as military operations have scaled back. Of course, that money must be reinvested back into our armed forces which is what this government will do. Making sure defence spending hits 2% of GDP will be a key priority in the upcoming budget. 

"[we] would rather die than leave the Labour Party." - Emily Thornberry.


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 560
01/08/2019 7:47 pm  

NATO requires a 2% spend on defence, the Conservatives met this target every year, Labour missed it. Labour's cuts have seen our role in NATO diminished and our claim to always pay our way brought into jeopardy. I urge the Government to u-turn on their MoD cuts and increase defence spending back to the Conservatives' 2% level.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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William Croft
(@william-croft)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 260
01/08/2019 7:48 pm  

All you have to do is look at the choices made by the Government and compare them with those of the Opposition to see who truly prioritizes defense spending: the Shadow Budget met the 2% of GDP spending commitment, the Government's budget did not.

As I have said before, actions speak louder than words. The Government acted on defense spending, and when they did the action they chose was to reduce spending by 3 billion. We need a big, bold injection of new investment in our military to ensure Britain is prepared for the challenges we will face in the future. The Government flip flopping on their commitment to the defense budget simply isn't going to cut it.

William Croft
Member of Parliament for Bracknell
Shadow Foreign Secretary
Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chief Whip of the Conservative party


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Macmillan
(@dylan-macmillan)
MP for North East Bedfordshire
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 560
01/08/2019 8:15 pm  

The Prime Minister talks about "reinvesting" the cuts to defence in national defence, why did they not reinvest last year? Why was the national defence of this country cut below the 2% target and left there for an entire year?

Of course the country knows the answer to that, they wanted to try and beat the Conservative Party's deficit reduction numbers from our Shadow Budget. Sadly they borrowed more than the Tories and they managed to cut national defence to do it, shame.

Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire
Leader of the Opposition (2014-16)

Prime Minister (2014)

Parliamentary Experience: Novice (25)
Media Experience: Experienced (62)
Policy Experience: Novice (29)


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