Despite the slight confusion at the start of my question – we were informed that Defence Questions would have to last longer to ensure an MP could get to the Commons to ask her Urgent Question – I asked the minister of Defence what action the Government is taking to support our NATO allies in the Baltic states.
The growing threat from nations, such as Russia, to our allies in the Baltic states is serious and we need to ensure that we give them the support they need. I was concerned that in a recent parliamentary question it was revealed that we have not been allowing as many people from our NATO allies to attend our world class military training facilities.
I was pleased that the minister said he will take action. It is important that we as a nation stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in difficult times.
Since the referendum on leaving the European Union we have seen the pound lose value against the dollar. This has had consequences for our procurement of arms from the United States as well as other nations.
For example the new F35 fighter jets we have ordered have increased in price – costing taxpayers more for our security. The Secretary of State admitted in his answer that the changes in the exchange rate have cost nearly a quarter of a billion pounds extra. That’s money that could have been spent on the NHS, police, education, or a better resourced military to name but a few.
On Monday, I asked the Minister of Defence, Mark Lancaster MP, if he would clarify if apprenticeships in the defence industry are being supported and promoted in all devolved administrations.
I asked this question because the literature produced by the Government on defence apprenticeships is focused on England, seemingly forgetting the bases, factories and associated industries located in Wales which are linked to defence.
The Minister took the opportunity to reassure the House that the UK Government will be working with the devolved assemblies and parliaments to ensure that defence apprenticeships are available to all people in the UK.
Once again I have been questioning the Minister responsible for Defence about the Legion d’Honneur. In particular the delays that are taking place in veterans receiving their awards from the French Government. Read more “Defence Questions: Legion d’Honneur”