Two per cent Defence spending pledge is 'not enough', minister warns

Posted On: 
27th February 2018

The Armed Forces minister has put pressure on Philip Hammond over Defence spending, arguing that the Government must spend more than 2% of GDP on the military.

More cash is needed to fund Britain's armed forces, a minister has said

Tobias Ellwood's remarks will be seen as another challenge to the Treasury, which has been locked in negotiations with the Ministry of Defence over its budget.

“Two per cent is just not enough,” Mr Ellwood said yesterday. 

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“This is a question not just for this government, not just for parliamentarians, but for Britain. What status, what role, what responsibility do we aspire to play, as we seek to trade more widely in a world that is becoming more dangerous?"

According to the Times, Whitehall sources fear time is running out for the Chancellor to reach a settlement with the MoD after spending, despite sustained lobbying from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, defence chiefs and Tory MPs including former defence secretary Michael Fallon.

Last week Mr Ellwood said funding had to increase in order to provide the best facilities for service staff. 

We are trying to make the case that if we want our professional armed forces to be attractive to the next generation we need to look after personnel," he said.

“To do that you need more money than we have currently got.”

A Treasury spokesman said Mr Hammond - who served as defence secretary under David Cameron - "cares deeply" about the forces. An MoD spokesperson said there was a "continuing dialogue" with the Treasury over funding.