Britain is set to increase its defence budget by 16.5 billion pounds (USD 21.8 billion) in the next four years to deal with “perilous” international situation and “bolster its global influence.”
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,” he said.
He further said this is UK’s chance to transform their Armed Forces and increase its global influence. “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,” Boris said.
The 16.5 billion pounds extra in the Ministry of Defence’s budget over the next four years is the amount over and above the manifesto commitment, UK Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“The 16.5 billion pounds extra in the Ministry of Defence’s budget over the next four years is the amount over and above the manifesto commitment. The Government has already pledged to increase defence spending by 0.5 per cent above inflation for every year of this parliament. On existing forecasts, this is an overall cash increase of 24.1 billion pounds over four years compared to last year’s budget,” the statement said.
“Since the Cold War the threat from our adversaries has been evolving. Our traditional defence and deterrence capabilities remain vital, and our Armed Forces work every day to prevent terror reaching the UK’s shores. But our enemies are also operating in increasingly sophisticated ways, including in cyberspace, to further their own interests,” the statement said.
It said UK Defence, therefore, needs to operate at all times with leading, cutting-edge technology.