Bishop of Leeds calls for honesty and transparency over UK’s defence capabilities

On Monday 15th January 2018 the House of Lords heard the repeat of a Government statement on the National Security Capability Review. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Minister agree with me that it is important in any public statement that the people of this country are properly apprised of the fact that, if we say yes to and prioritise some elements of our defence capability, we are inevitably saying no to others, and that we are given a proper appraisal of what our capability actually is? In this country, particularly in some of our newspapers, we still hear statements that imply almost that Britannia still rules the waves. Our rhetoric and prioritising ought to match the reality of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Earl Howe: The right reverend Prelate is correct. We need to tailor our capabilities to what is affordable, certainly, but we also need to bear in mind that the importance of the UK acting with its allies will not diminish. As I have said many times, NATO is the bedrock of our national security, and will continue to be so.