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Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 20th June 2018.

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Photo of Stewart McDonald Stewart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence) 5:06 pm, 20th June 2018

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee is absolutely correct. Do we really believe that the cash from Nord Stream 2 will not go into the financing of far-right political parties all across Europe, even here in the UK? Do we really believe it will not be funding lies and propaganda—we call it fake news—across the EU? Of course it will be.

I want to mention the Chair of the Defence Committee’s “Beyond 2 per cent” report, which is a most welcome document. It is clear from that document that the Ministry of Defence is struggling to create a long-term defence plan, partly due to the black hole of up to £20 billion in its equipment plan resulting from a culture of chaos and clumsy procurement decisions that have not been properly funded: a Royal Navy at historically low numbers and recruitment for the Army that is missing targets every single year. It is of paramount importance that that clumsiness does not impact on sufficient burden-sharing for the alliance. Direct contributions should be upheld in the UK, just as they are in any other member state, but indirect contributions should also be provided as a symbol of this country’s commitment to a safer and more secure world.