Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced a “once-in-a-generation modernisation” of the British armed forces. Mr Johnson has reasoned that his planned announced today are required to extend British influence abroad and protect the public. The prime minister today told MPs that a new four-year funding deal would protect “hundreds of thousands” of jobs as well as creating 40,000 new roles.
Johnson said today, via zoom, to MP’s: “I have decided that the era of cutting our defence budget must end, and it ends now”. The Labour party has released a statement that welcomed more defence spending but, proceeded to ask how it would be funded. Whilst announcing his new package Johnson said that the benefits in this deal “will go far beyond our armed forces”.
As a result of today’s announcement, defence spending will now be worth £16.5bn in new money over four years according to some sources. However, the economist Ben Zaranko, from the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that the figure of £16.5bn was a “misleading way to present this announcement”. He also said: “It would be more accurate to say that by 2024-25, defence spending will be £7bn higher than it would have been under previous plans”.
Mr Johnson said in his announcement: “Our plans will safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs in the defence industry, protecting livelihoods across the UK and keeping the British people safe”. He also said that his announcements today would restore Britain as “the foremost naval power in Europe” as a result of a “renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK”.
UNN’s Oliver Down understands that today’s announcement will result in a new centre dedicated to artificial intelligence as well as the creation of a national cyber force, which he said was already operating against terrorists organised crime groups and hostile states in addition to a new “RAF space command launching British satellites and our first rocket from Scotland in 2022”.