Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

24 NOV 2015

MP backs investment in national defence

Steve Brine has strongly backed the publication of the Conservative Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, a comprehensive plan to back our Armed Forces, counter-terrorism police and intelligence agencies with the resources they need.

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP voiced his support in Parliament on Monday 23rd November, telling the Prime Minister that he thought the SDSR would be welcomed across Hampshire, with its 'significant defence interests'.

The plan will see an investment of £178 billion in our defence over the next decade, including creating two new strike brigades with forces of up to 5,000 personnel each who will be fully equipped to deploy rapidly and sustain themselves in the field.

There will also be an increase in the size of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force by a total of 700 personnel, and there was confirmation of the renewal of Trident, the continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent, which is the country's ultimate insurance policy.

Steve Brine said: "The SDSR is a comprehensive blueprint that sets out how we harness all the tools of national power and it rightly makes clear we cannot choose between conventional defences against state-based threats and the need to counter threats that do not recognise national borders. It prioritises the need to deter state-based activity, tackle terrorism, remain a world leader in cyber security and ensure we have the capability to respond rapidly to crises as they emerge."

In addition, there will be investment in nine maritime patrol aircraft to protect our nuclear deterrent, hunt down hostile submarines and enhance our maritime search and rescue, and an extension of the life of the multirole Typhoon for 10 extra years through to 2040, meaning we will be able to create two additional squadrons.

The government will also accelerate the F-35 programme, by buying 42 jets by 2023, and will invest £1.9 billion over five years in our cybersecurity.

Mr Brine continued: "The first duty of any government is to keep the nation and our communities safe – that is why this investment is fantastic news. I am proud that we are the only major country in the world which is simultaneously going to meet the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of our GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of our GNI on development, while also increasing investment in our security and intelligence agencies and in counter-terrorism. These announcements underline how committed we are to the long-term, future security of Britain."

The planned SDSR comes just days after the Paris attacks and just before the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons regarding UK action in Syria, due on Thursday 26th November.

Steve added: "These are incredibly serious times and the decisions we MPs will likely have to take in the next few weeks are among the toughest we face. They weigh heavy indeed and I am grateful to the many constituents who have already been in touch to give me their opinion on possible military action in Syria. I know there will be more to come.

"My approach will be careful and measured as always and I will want to study the full spectrum approach as the Government makes the case for Britain to join our international allies in going after ISIL at its headquarters in Syria, not just Iraq.

"In particular, I want to know how such action will be one element of a comprehensive and long-term strategy to defeat ISIL, in parallel with a major international effort to bring an end to the war in Syria. I would urge all constituents to study carefully the statement from David Cameron as presented to Parliament on Thursday."


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