Yesterday, Ben Wallace at Defence Questions: ” It is really important that the integrated review reports at the same time as the comprehensive spending review, which is due in the autumn.” Hansard entry here.
There was an exchange around leaving the EU.
Julian Lewis MP: “I am glad that the Secretary of State has been making representations to the US about the importance of not cutting conventional forces in Europe, but can we make such representations if we ourselves have any intention to do what is reported in the press—namely to inflict swingeing cuts on the Army and to revisit the argument we won two years ago about the Royal Marines’ amphibious capabilities? Does he accept that, although we have 21st century threats to meet, that is additional to, not a substitute for, the conventional preparedness we need to maintain?”
Ben Wallace: “My right hon. Friend has been in this House long enough to know that he should not believe everything he reads in the newspapers, especially around the time of an integrated review. We in the United Kingdom believe that, as the motto of Sandhurst says, we serve to lead. We lead by contributing and giving, which we have done over the history of NATO. We are the biggest contributor to NATO in Europe. We are the provider of NATO’s nuclear defence in Europe, and we will continue to be a main leader in NATO. That is how we will see off the threats we face from the likes of Russia.”
Last week UK Chargé d’Affaires to the UN, Ambassador Jonathan Allen made a statement to the UN Security Council meeting on non-proliferation:
“We have also frequently stated our unequivocal regret and concern at the United States decision to leave the JCPoA and to reimpose sanctions on Iran. We understand the continued impact this has had in Iran and on the Iranian people.”
In May, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on defence Lord Campbell, asked what steps the Government is taking “to ensure Continuous At Sea Deterrence until the deployment of the first Dreadnought submarine”.
Baroness Goldie responded saying the “Government is committed to maintaining a Continuous At Sea Deterrence posture for as long as the global security situation demands. We are providing the investment and resources to maintain the VANGUARD Class to assure the transition to the Dreadnought Class”.
It should be a government’s priority to keep people safe, whilst also recognising the true security threats of the 21st century.
Since the above exchange it has been suggested that as part of the Integrated Review, Vanguard may be broken up for parts to keep the other three Trident subs going until the replacement comes on stream. Read more here.