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Defence Spending — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:52 am on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 10:52 am, 16th July 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I congratulate my hon. Friend Anne-Marie Trevelyan on introducing the debate. There can be few in Parliament so passionate about the armed forces and I am not surprised that it is she who called the debate. It has been highly constructive and has demonstrated a gratifying commitment to the defence sector on both sides of the House. We should start on a note of agreement: clearly everyone in the Chamber wants the defence budget to continue to rise, and that is gratifying. It is tempting to pick up on another point where we all agree—that it is the Treasury that is the enemy; but I cannot possibly say that. With a reshuffle coming next week, I do not want to limit my options too far. They are already pretty narrow, so let us not go further.