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M2: Strategic Defence Review
#1
Madam speaker,

I beg to move the following motion :


Quote:That this House endorses the decision of Her Majesty’s Government to conduct a Strategic Defence Review which prepares the armed forces for future challenges, reaffirms its commitment under the Armed Forces Act to the maintenance of a standing Army, continues to endorse the maintenance of a fully functioning nuclear weapons arsenal, and commits to undertaking such measures that are necessary in order to support, maintain and enhance the United Kingdom’s strategic defence capabilities.
Sir Harold Saxon MP

Acting Prime Minister

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1994 - )
MP for Aylesbury
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#2
Madam speaker I beg this motion be moved
Sir Harold Saxon MP

Acting Prime Minister

Chancellor of the Exchequer (1994 - )
MP for Aylesbury
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#3
Order, debate begins now.
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#4
Madam Speaker,

First, I would like to thank the right honourable member for Scarborough for leading the Ministry and working tiredlessly to provide a vision for the future of Britain's national security. 

For roughly 45 years, our nation faced the possibility of repealing a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. To counter this existential threat, the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation maintained armed forces oriented to this mission. British air force squadrons prepared to shoot down Soviet MiGs over Frankfurt and British tank and cavalry units like mine stood ready to knock the Soviets back into East Germany. British sailors manned ships tasked with killing Soviet subs and keeping our sea lanes open. This existential threat, Madam Speaker, ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. Consequently, all NATO and Warsaw Pact nations tried to realise the 'peace dividends' following the end of the Cold War. For example, the United States closed more than 100 bases and then reduced its forces in Germany to 100,000 from 300,000.

Recognising that the threat from the Soviet Union had ended, the Government, following a review with defence staff, made reductions. I am not here to rehash those arguments with my honourable friends on the Opposition benches - we will simply have to agree to disagree. I think what we can agree on is that post-1990, the world has changed tremendously as we have evolved from a bipolar international system anchored by the United States and her allies and the Soviet Union and her satellites to the current reality of failed states, civil wars and genocide, and now international terrorism.

One only has to consider the fact that we have gone from opposing a government based in Moscow to supporting and sharing intelligence with the Russian Federation. The world indeed has changed, Madam Speaker, and the Strategic Defence Review recognises it. It envisions a military not anchored to the realities of 1989, but flexible and capable of responding to multiple demands, including defending our homeland, engaging in humanitarian relief and peacekeeping operations, and responding quickly to crises around the world. Replacing our aging aircraft carriers so that we can still project power. Upgrading military assets and equipment to ensure that while our military might numerically be smaller, it packs more of a punch through the use of technology. Both of these items are examples of some of the critical areas where this Government's SDR provides a path to the future. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you, and I ask my friends on the other side to join with me.
Rt. Hon. William A. Harris
MP for Birmingham Hall Green
Conservative and Unionist Party
SOS for Defence 
SOS for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Office
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