Boris Johnson to back Donald Trump on Nato spending campaign

Posted On: 
2nd December 2016

Britain will back Donald Trump in his bid to urge Nato countries to spend more on defence, Boris Johnson will declare today.

Britain is one of the few Nato allies to spend the recommended 2% of its GDP on defence
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary will argue the US president-elect “has a point” that America spending 70% on the alliance and the other 27 nations just 30% “cannot be justified”.

Mr Trump criticised Nato heavily during his presidential campaign and suggested he might not come to the aid of an ally if it failed to pay its “fair share”.

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In a speech today at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, Mr Johnson will insist the UK's commitment to its Nato obligations - including the rule that an attack against one is an attack against all - is “unbreakable”.

But he will add: "President-elect Trump has a point, it cannot be justified that one Nato ally, America, accounts for about 70% of the alliance's defence spending while the other 27 countries manage only 30% between them.

"I want every Nato member to meet the agreed target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, and 20% of their defence budget on new equipment.

“Britain already abides by this target and I note that Nato's most exposed members - including Estonia and Poland - do so as well."

Elsewhere, Mr Johnson will encourage the UK to "redouble our resolve and to defend and preserve the best of the rules-based international order".

"If we fail, then we risk reverting to an older and more brutal system where the strong are free to devour the weak where might is always right and the rules and institutions we have so painstakingly built fade away into irrelevance," he will say. "We cannot allow this to happen.

"We have to acknowledge that in many respects the world is not in good shape.

“We have the cult of the strong man, we have democracy in retreat, we have an arc of instability across the Middle East from Iraq to Syria to Libya.

“What is the answer of the UK, is it to cower and put the pillow over our heads? Emphatically not."