Bishop of Portsmouth welcomes integrated review of foreign, defence, security and development policy

On 23rd November the House of Lords heard a Government statement on its integrated review of foreign, defence, security and development policy. The Bishop of Portsmouth asked a question:

The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth [V]: My Lords, I welcome this announcement, with its impact on jobs and industry, including in the diocese I serve. I note the welcome emphasis that the Government appear to give to defence and security. Will the Minister therefore recognise that previous defence reviews set out grand, strategic ambitions but were not backed by the necessary resources? Will she specifically confirm the Government’s commitment to providing those resources to match the ambitions of the review, and will she further recognise that as we wait for spending commitments on development aid and public sector pay, how much the Government propose in additional investment is an accurate barometer of what they consider to be most important?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con): I reassure the right reverend Prelate that this settlement puts the defence programme on a sustainable footing and will make sure that our Armed Forces can meet today’s threats at the same time as delivering on a once-in-a-generation modernisation. This £16.5 billion increase over four years is the biggest uplift in 30 years, and, as I mentioned, it cements the UK’s position as the largest defence spender in Europe and the second largest in NATO.

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