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.
On Tuesday I asked the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Boris Johnson MP, about the UK-US relationship following the election of Donald Trump. In particular, I wanted to know what steps he has, and is planning to take, to ensure that the USA remains a supporter of Article 5 of NATO to maintain peace and stability within Europe.
Article 5 is the guarantee that if one NATO member is attacked all other members will take action to defend the attacked nation. This has only been used once in its 75 year history and that was after 9/11.
Most concerning is the more aggressive stance from Russia to nations on its western border. Nations in the Baltic states are now fearing their independence which was hard won. We need to maintain vigilant and display our unity to outside aggressors.
The Secretary of State reconfirmed Britain’s membership of NATO and of Article 5. He informed the House that he believed that it was understood in Washington that NATO is a vital security measure that needed to be maintained.