Defence: UK Military Status - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:19 pm on 26th June 2018.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 3:19 pm, 26th June 2018

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for her Answer. Once again, it seems that a Scot has been thrust into the breach to answer an indefensible position. There is no doubt whatever that we have insufficient money at the moment to support the defence programme that was laid down in the strategic defence and security review of 2015. There is a hollowing out of the forces, there are real problems and concerns. Across this House noble Lords are extremely worried, as are those in the other place. I am afraid that it is no good—it does not wash—to say that we are providing the defence that is required for this country. When the national security review was looked at we discovered that things had got worse; the threat is even greater. Are the Government going to actually face the fact that defence is underfunded and, unless extra money is found, as the HCDC said, we will not be able to provide the force that we said we would and we will certainly no longer be a tier 1 nation? How extraordinary it is that our Prime Minister is the first since Walpole to have to ask whether we are such a nation.