Ministry of Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Chair, Defence Committee 5:45 pm, 26th February 2018

I will give way to my good friend the deputy Chairman of the Committee in a moment.

I can remember Tony Blair on HMS Albion in 2007, looking back on his 10 years as Prime Minister and saying, “Well, I think we can say that we have kept defence spending roughly constant at 2.5% of GDP if the cost of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are included.” But in fact the cost of operations should not have been included, because they are meant to be met from the Treasury reserve. The real figure over the Blair decade came down to 2.1% or 2.2% of GDP.