Government should set timetable for defence spending commitment: Robinson

DUP Leader Rt Hon Gavin Robinson MP has welcomed the commitment given by the Prime Minister to raise defence spending to 2.5% but said a firm timetable to fulfil that pledge would help evidence the new Governments commitment to ensuring the UK is equipped to face the threats to security by state actors and terrorism.

By Gavin Robinson MP

Belfast East

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Gavin Robinson said:

“The Democratic Unionist Party believe that defence spending should be increased, and therefore we welcome the commitment by the new Prime Minister to raise defence spending to 2.5%. We see this as the minimum acceptable increase given the threats faced both domestic and global.

These threats are immediate, but also evolving. This being the case, a timetable to meet the 2.5% pledge would be evidence that the Government recognise the dangers and are ready to resource the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies to ensure they are not only fighting-fit but equipped with the right skillsets to respond.

The aerospace, defence, security, and space sectors in Northern Ireland stand ready to do more to serve our national defences. The MOD already have several strategic suppliers in Northern Ireland, but we can do more and gain a greater share of increased spending to bolster our economy. The Ministry of Defence must address historically and disproportionately low levels of spend from its procurement budget in Northern Ireland. MOD expenditure per person with UK industry was still only £100 in Northern Ireland compared to a regional average of £380 in Scotland and England, and £250 in Wales. DUP MPs will champion a fairer deal for Northern Ireland.

We must also ensure existing providers such as Spirit Aerospace and Harland and Wolff are supported. I have already raised this with the Prime Minister and will be engaging with the new Defence Secretary to stress the importance of safeguarding these jobs into the future.”

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