UK PM Sunak Boosts Defense Spending as Baroness Warsi Backs 'Pre-War Footing'

UK boosts defense spending by £75B to become Europe's largest military power, amid growing global threats and challenges.

Wojciech Zylm
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UK PM Sunak Boosts Defense Spending as Baroness Warsi Backs 'Pre-War Footing'

UK PM Sunak Boosts Defense Spending as Baroness Warsi Backs 'Pre-War Footing'

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a £75 billion increase in UK defense funding over the next six years, taking the defense budget to 2.5% of national wealth by 2030. The additional funding will be used to "put the UK's own defense industry on a war footing" and "hugely ramp up" domestic weapons production, according to Sunak. "This will show our enemies that we are resolute and determined," he said, adding that the UK will be "the largest defense power in Europe".

The announcement was welcomed by NATO, and Sunak challenged other European countries to match Britain's commitment. Former Defense Secretary Ben Wallace praised the spending uplift, saying it is "the best step Britain can take to prevent future conflict". Sunak insisted the UK is not on the "brink of war" but warned that in a "world of increasing threats", the UK must show its enemies that their attempts to "destabilise our world or redraw its borders by force will fail".

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a former Conservative Party chairwoman, has voiced her support for the defense funding increase, stating that the armed forces should be on a "pre-war footing". Warsi believes this commitment is necessary given the current global security challenges. In contrast, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has expressed skepticism, stating that the commitment to increase defense spending is "easier to make" than to actually deliver.

Why this matters: The UK's significant boost in defense spending reflects the growing global security threats and the need for countries to bolster their military capabilities. It also highlights the UK's commitment to its allies and its role as a leading defense power in Europe.

The £75 billion increase in defense funding over the next six years will allow the UK to build deeper stockpiles of munitions and replenish them more quickly. Sunak also confirmed the UK will deploy Typhoon fighter jets to Poland to help police its skies, and pledged £500 million worth of arms to Ukraine. The move has received mixed reactions, with some analysts questioning how it will be funded given the UK's existing budget deficit, while others see it as a necessary step in the face of increasing global threats.

Key Takeaways

  • UK to increase defense spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030, a £75B boost.
  • Funding to "put UK's defense industry on a war footing" and ramp up weapons production.
  • UK to deploy Typhoon jets to Poland and provide £500M in arms to Ukraine.
  • Move welcomed by NATO, but some question how it will be funded amid budget deficit.
  • UK aims to become "largest defense power in Europe" amid growing global threats.