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Budget Resolutions - Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 6:56 pm, 13th March 2017

I repeat what I said at the weekend; and I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman was paying attention. I do not believe, by the way, that it will come to that, because we will have no difficulty over the next couple of years in doing a deal that is very much in the interests of both sides. I shall come on to that later.

To get back to the defence of the planet, let me remind Members that we are not only committed not only to transatlantic defences we will also spend £3 billion east of Suez in the Gulf region over the next 10 years. In fact we are reopening and restoring our role east of Suez, arguably for the first time since 1967. We are reopening a naval base in Bahrain, which makes perfect economic sense as well. If Labour Members cared about these things, they would understand that there is an absolute connection between our security and our economic prosperity, because the region of the Gulf—the Opposition probably do not know this—is our largest and fastest-growing export market apart from the EU and the US.

It does not end there either, because we are also committed to the security of the wider world, including Asia. Last year, as the House will know, the Royal Air Force sent Typhoon fighters to Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, proving that Britain remains one of the handful of countries able to deploy air power 7,000 miles from its shores. Soon the Royal Navy will have two giant aircraft carriers, each of them longer than the Palace of Westminster—the biggest warships this country has ever possessed, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.