30th Jan, 15
UKIP will restore Britain's independent defence capabilities.
UKIP will stop interfering in unnecessary wars.
UKIP are the only party committed to meeting the NATO two per cent of GDP target for defence spending.
"The defence budget is one of the very few elements of public expenditure that can truly be described as essential." Denis Healey, former Labour Defence Minister.
"Once we have cut expenditure to the extent where our security is imperilled, we have no houses, we have no hospitals, we have no schools. We have a heap of cinders." Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister.
UKIP condemns plans for an EU Army , and the British Army could be reduced to 50,000 after the General Election, its smallest size in nearly 250 years, says a report by the respected Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), as the US expresses concerns that the UK is planning to break its commitment to NATO to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence
The first duty of government is the defence of the realm and to protect and look after its own citizens. Our way of life is under threat from hostile nations, extremists, terrorist organisations, and those wishing to undermine our economic prosperity, subvert our democratic rights and the sovereignty of British law.
The gradual dismantling of our armed forces prior to integration with the European Defence Agency, has left us woefully under-resourced. UKIP would re-establish the UK’s defence capabilities at viable levels. The UK is a founding member of the North Altlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Britain’s international defence commitments will be maintained through the UK delegation to NATO, the US special relationship, and our other allies.
The defence budget has been a convenient pot to raid for governments over the last several decades. The armed forces were until recently the one area the British people could truly be proud of, but the forces are now passing that critical size below which they will no longer be able live up to our high expectations. UKIP will reverse this decline and will:
- Review the Ministry of Defence in order to reform it as a streamlined ministry.
- Protect or restore key items such as armour and maritime patrol. Ensure sufficient infantry, airborne and commando units are maintained to feed the Special Forces.
- Extend and develop Territorial Army and reserve capabilities across all armed services.
- Retain two aircraft carriers and increase the number of major surface combat vessels, allowing the Royal Navy to fulfil a global role defending British interests.
- Urgently start a technical review of the Trident replacement to maintain our independent nuclear deterrent.
- Extend, and honour the military covenant to protect those injured in service, providing life-long access to support, be it medical, financial or otherwise.
Current British defence policy is in a poor state. Strategic thinking has degenerated to no more than a simple hope that there will be no major war in the foreseeable future.
Defence no longer appears a priority. This suits the aims of the European Union by denying the UK the ability to act alone when it suits our national interest. The dangers of relying totally on allies for any major operation barely need arguing.
From the Falklands conflict, and then involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, relying on and following other countries has been shown to be challenging at best and dangerous or unrealistic at times. Following the recent military interventions in these countries (with consequent destruction and the deaths of thousands of military personnel and civilians), it is now generally agreed that many of these countires are signifcantly worse off, more unstable and in a more dangerous state than before, and that our involvment in these conflicts has done nothing to reduce the threats from extremists and terrorist organisations.
We must learn from these mistakes and UKIP will stop interfering in unnecessary wars.
The United Kingdom must concentrate on its key military needs: the defence of the realm; protection of trade; overseas investment and constitutional responsibilities.
UKIP will reverse the decline of our armed forces and this will obvious take resources which will be saved by leaving the EU. It is estimated that the EU Costs Britain £170 billion per year (11% of GDP)