I've welcomed Monday's publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
This extensive plan has been devised to ensure that the UK has the resources in place to combat the ever-present terror threat. The SDSR is the Government's main document on defence strategy, which will shape the Armed Forces for at least the next decade and beyond. The focus is on the threats that the UK faces, what the country needs to combat them and how to structure and adequately equip the Armed Forces to tackle them.
During the announcement, the Prime Minister confirmed the Government's plan to invest £178 billion in defence over the next ten years. This will include the formation of two new strike brigades with forces of up to 5,000 personnel, who have the ability to be deployed within a radius of 1,500 miles. Plans for Trident will be renewed and we will witness an increase of 700 personnel for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, plus the acceleration of the F-35 programme and a £1.9 billion investment into cybersecurity over the next five years.
The first duty of any government is to keep the nation and its communities safe and these plans will give the Forces the necessary means to do so. This is essential at a time when the threats to our country are ever-growing.
To echo the thoughts of the Prime Minister, I am proud that we are the only major country in the world which is simultaneously going to meet the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of our GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7% of our GNI on development, whilst also increasing investment in our security and intelligence agencies and in counter-terrorism. This announcement reasserts the UK as a serious military power and demonstrates our commitment to the long-term security of Britain.