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Mon, 28 September 2020

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Boris Johnson to serve Christmas lunch to UK troops in Estonia

Boris Johnson to serve Christmas lunch to UK troops in Estonia
3 min read

Boris Johnson is to serve Christmas lunch to British troops in Estonia today during a visit to a Nato mission.


The 850 soldiers from the Queen's Royal Hussars at the Tapa military base near Tallinn represent the UK's largest operational deployment in Europe.

 

Mr Johnson will tour the military base and eat Christmas lunch with the troops.

 

Downing Street said it was an opportunity for him to personally thank them for their service and make clear the Government's commitment to support those on the frontline "guaranteeing Britain's security”.

 

The PM, who will meet Estonian counterpart Jüri Ratas during the visit, will stress the role the UK is playing in reassuring its allies and deterring Russian aggression against its Baltic neighbours.

 

Ahead of the visit, Mr Johnson said: "This year our military efforts in Estonia have been immense.

 

"So at this time of year we should all take a moment to be thankful for the sacrifices made by our troops, many of whom will be spending Christmas on our deployments and bases around the world - be it the Baltics, Ukraine or Afghanistan - and those in Britain too.”

 

The day trip comes as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace raised the prospect of a new defence overhaul as he warns forces chiefs they must ”cut our cloth to match our ambition”.

 

It has emerged that the MoD faces a £7billion black hole in its 10-year-plan to equip the armed forces.

 

Mr Wallace told the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast: “The best thing I can do for the men and women of the Armed Forces is to make sure that we cut our cloth to match our ambition, manage expectations and say to the chiefs that your appetite has to match your stomach.

 

“By doing so we build our credibility with the Treasury and Number 10 to say, look, we have sorted out our house, when you give us some more money we will deliver on what we’re trying to do and there will be no tricks.”

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