Carrier Strike Group Deployment - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:01 pm on 28 April 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 7:01, 28 April 2021

I should say to my noble friend that I do not share his somewhat pessimistic perspective. He will be aware that the defence budget is at unprecedented levels, which includes a healthy shipbuilding investment that will double over the life of this Parliament, rising to over £1.7 billion a year. We are also committed to exciting developments on our aerial front, including the RAF with the FCAS and our proposed investment in the F-35s. I should say to him in relation to the Army that we are moving into a completely new age of defence. That has been acknowledged, not just in the integrated review but in the defence Command Paper and the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy. He will understand that our intentions for the Army are to have a highly trained, skilled professional Army with expertise and which benefits from new technologies. Quite simply, that makes it possible for the Army to work with fewer people and achieve greater effect than was possible in the past. That is the point we have got to focus on. I should also say to my noble friend that we do not propose redundancies, but we will be looking at ways in which to achieve the diminutions with those who seek to retire.