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Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:08 pm on 20th June 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 4:08 pm, 20th June 2018

I remember those discussions well, and I kind of wish that the right hon. Gentleman had demanded that a few more ships be built at Harland and Wolff—perhaps a third aircraft carrier. We expect eight nations to be meeting the 2% target by the end of this year and 14 nations by 2024, but that is still not enough. Some of the largest economies in Europe continue to lag behind considerably. Estonia is meeting the 2% target, but we must encourage other nations, such as Germany, to take the opportunity to spend 2% on defence. My open offer to them is that if they do not know how to spend it, I am sure that we could do that for them.