Defence

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 5:07 pm on 18th February 2019.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 5:07 pm, 18th February 2019

We have touched on the long-established reputation of our armed forces in defending not just our shores, but our values. At this juncture, I would comment on how the world is changing rapidly. It is getting more dangerous and it is getting more complex. The threats are more diverse than ever before. I would argue that if the instability we are seeing is unchecked, it will become the norm. These are threats not just from a manmade perspective—extremism and resurgent nations, as well as cyber-security—but from climate change. We are reaching or testing the limits of what our fragile planet can actually do, and if we do not act soon, there will be huge consequences with migration, the movement of people and so forth, as well as the stockpiling of food and a threat even to our ability to grow the crops we actually need.

The world is changing fast and it requires a collective effort if we are to meet some of these challenges. Britain has been a nation that again and again steps forward to lead the way—not always to do the heavy lifting, but certainly to show leadership. I certainly believe that, as I say, this is an important juncture at which to regroup and look at the rules—established mostly through Bretton Woods, after the second world war—that are now out of date. They need to be reviewed to recognise the new world that we actually face, before this becomes the norm and we are unable to change and set the standards for the next number of years.

The rate of change and level of uncertainty are outpacing governance and unity. The old rules need to be updated, and, because of human empowerment, it is easier for individuals to have greater access to means of causing harm, through computers and so forth.