Britain already holds the number two spot among NATO countries’ total defence outlays, spending between 2.1 and 2.85 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product on the military, in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s demand that all alliance members devote at least 2 percent of their GDP to defence.
The UK will beef up defence spending by nearly 10 percent over the next four years, with more than £16.5 billion ($21.9 billion) to be invested, and outlays directed to upgrading the country’s ‘outdated’ equipment and improving its next-generation capabilities, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.
“We have to move with the threat. If we don’t learn from the threat we will end up fighting yesterday’s battles,” the defence secretary, who has sought to increase military spending since stepping into office mid-2019, added.
Wallace’s comments follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Wednesday that London would pump at least an additional £4 billion into defence between now and 2024 to provide the country with next-generation capabilities. The new spending will tack about 10 percent onto the current defence budget of about £40 billion pounds ($52.9 billion), and is projected to be the biggest rise in spending since the Cold War.
Johnson justified the spending by citing his Government’s commitment to the “defence of the realm,” which he said “must come first.” He also pointed to what he said was an…