RAF Centenary

Part of Leaving the EU – in the House of Commons at 6:09 pm on 26th November 2018.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 6:09 pm, 26th November 2018

Well, I always like to send very clear messages to the Russians. [Laughter.] The RAF is always right, and the RAF is protecting our skies from potential threats. That is the right thing to do, it is what we expect it to do, and it is what it will continue to do against any possible incursions.

The RAF plays a much bigger role than just in our skies. In terms of what we have been doing in NATO, the Royal Air Force has been in Romania as a key and pivotal part of its air defence. When we go to Romania and speak to Romanians, we see the real pride and sense of appreciation that they have for the role that the Royal Air Force has played. The RAF was not there just passively—it was scrambling in order to respond to potential threats that the Romanian air force was also having to deal with. This is a way of expanding our influence right across Europe and the world, because people, quite rightly, put the RAF on a pedestal as the world’s greatest air force, and they put great value and privilege on working with it. We need to exploit that more and more, not just for our strategic defence but from a prosperity angle as well.