Armed forces need extra £20bn a year to stand up to Russia, MPs warn

Posted On: 
18th June 2018

UK armed forces need an additional £20bn in funding if they are to stand up to Russia, MPs have warned.

MPs said that there was "serious deficiencies" in the quantity of armoured vehicles.
PA Images

The Commons Defence Select Committee say the Government must urgently consider increasing spending on the brief from 2% to 3% a year - a hike that would result in an extra £20bn for UK forces.

The funding, which would be used to fill financial ‘black holes,’ is needed to counter new threats from states like Russia, a new report from the committee has claimed.

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It suggested that spending restrictions are making it “very difficult” for UK forces to create a long-term defence strategy and that increasing funding is the “only solution.”

MPs also hit out at the “serious deficiencies in the quantities of armour, armoured vehicles and artillery available to the British army”, warning that failure to modernise the equipment would leave the country “at serious risk of being outgunned by its Russian counterpart.”

The call comes after a warning from ex-Commander of the UK’s Maritime Forces Rear Admiral Alex Burton, who said that the UK was in danger of losing its position as a “credible military power” due to a lack of cash.

Committee chair Julian Lewis said: "The Government now needs to look beyond the 2% minimum on defence spending, and begin moving towards a figure of 3%, to place our defence policy on a sustainable basis to meet new threats and fill existing financial ‘black holes’.