In 2011 the then Coalition Government announced with much fanfare that they would enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law. However, the promises made to our Armed Forces personnel have not been matched with action.
We must ensure that those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country are cared for after they leave the Armed Forces. But according to the Armed Forces charity SSAFA only 16% of veterans believe it is being delivered effectively.
By 2018 the UK had spent £1.2bn on Galileo, Europe’s answer to the US GPS system. We have learnt that the UK Government now intends to build its own system as we are no longer part of the project due to Brexit.
This is expected to cost £3bn to £5bn. I wanted to know where this money was coming from and when the UK expect this project to be online.
I believe it is important that we should work with our neighbours and allies when it comes to defence. Not only is there strength in numbers but it cuts the cost to the taxpayer.
The Minister diligently provided a non-answer.
The UK Government has outsourced the duties of recruitment for our Armed Forces to private firm Capita – the same firm that has been awarded government contracts in the past for benefit payments.
Since they have had this contract they have missed targets for recruitment. That is why I wanted the minister to tell the House how much it would cost us to withdraw the contract and if the UK Government has any plans to do so.
We cannot have an underfunded or an under-staffed Armed Forces and if Capita cannot recruit the people we need they should have the contract removed.
NATO keeps Europe and the North Atlantic safe from international actors who may want grab land or nations for themselves through war. We have seen what Russia can do with Ukraine and it is important that we maintain the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
I wanted to know what the UK Defence Secretary hoped that President Trump would say to President Putin when they meet. There have been worrying signs that President Trump wants to erode our defence structures away. This will put us and our allies at risk and the UK Government should be doing all they can to ensure this does not come to pass.