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 Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 3:19 pm, 26th June 2018

I do not think anyone is being thrust into the breach here, Scot or otherwise. I find it a matter of great privilege and pride to be at the Dispatch Box, speaking on behalf of the Government in relation to defence, in respect of which the Government have a very proud reputation. I am sorry to see that there is a glaring omission from the speakers’ list for what I know will be a very good debate this afternoon. I am truly sorry that the noble Lord, Lord West, is not going to be able to participate in that debate, when we could deal with this issue at slightly greater length. I remind him that the United Kingdom is one of the few NATO allies to spend 2% of GDP on defence, and we have pledged to do so for the duration of this Parliament. In addition, he will be aware that we are the second biggest budget contributor to NATO and the fifth largest defence spender in the world. That does not seem to me to be calling poor mouth—it seems to be clout and capability.