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Defence: Expenditure

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to propose to NATO that NATO members which do not spend two per cent of their GDP on defence should not receive help or protection under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the principle of collective defence.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The UK plays a leading role in the NATO Alliance, which is one of the cornerstones of UK defence. NATO's strength lies in the clear message Article 5 sends that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against all. The UK and all NATO Allies are committed to upholding Article 5 and any suggestion that we would not help protect our Allies weakens the Alliance.

All Allies agreed to meet the Defence Investment Pledge at the Wales Summit in 2014, and since then defence investment across the Alliance has increased in real terms. The UK regularly encourages all Allies to meet the commitment made to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence by 2024, because defence investment is how the Alliance will continue to have the military capabilities needed to tackle the full range of threats that it faces.

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