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Defence Secretary gives statement on the Modernising Defence Programme

18 December 2018

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Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, has given a statement in the House of Commons on the Modernising Defence Programme.

Following a review into how to modernise the UK's armed forces, the Defence secretary said, "we can be proud of what we've achieved since 2015 but we must also be vigilant."

Following the announcement of an additional £1.8billion for defence in the 2018 Budget, the Minister set out three broad priorities for defence - mobilisation, modernisation and the transformation of how the UK conducts business related to defence.

Concluding his statement Williamson said,

"The capability, investments and policy approaches set out with the extra £1.8billions worth of defence funding will help us keep on track to deliver the right UK defence through the challenging decade ahead. Without a shadow of a doubt there is a lot more work to be done as we move towards next year's spending review. We must sustain this momentum if we are to realise our long-term goals of increasing the lethality, reach and mass of our armed force"

The Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith, responded to the Government's statement on behalf of the Opposition.

Criticising the delay to the review, she said

“Given the amount of time it's taken […] it is staggering that the end result is so underwhelming”

She went on to question the announced funding and the Government's past and ongoing strategy for defence.

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