United Kingdom: Boris Johnson boosts the defense budget

Citing an international situation more dangerous than ever since the Cold War, Boris Johnson on Thursday announced the largest investment dedicated to the defense of the United Kingdom in 30 years. The British Prime Minister is therefore forecasting a 10% increase in spending compared to the current defense budget.

During a videoconference, the head of the conservative government, forced into solitary confinement because of a contact case, announced to the deputies 24.1 billion pounds (27 billion €) of additional expenditure, over four years, compared to the budget of last year (38 billion pounds, 42.5 billion euros).

Over the next four years, the United Kingdom will invest 190 billion pounds in defense (212 billion euros), or the equivalent of 2.2% of its GDP, “more than any other European country”, a- he affirmed, and “more than any other ally within NATO, except the United States”.

Ending an “era of withdrawal”

“Our national security in 20 years depends on the decisions we take today”, justified Boris Johnson, “the revival of our armed forces is one of the pillars of the government’s ambition to safeguard the interests and values ​​of the United Kingdom by strengthening our global influence and strengthening our ability to join with the United States and our other allies in defending free and open societies ”.

“The international situation is more perilous and intensely competitive than ever since the cold war”, he continued, underlining the opportunity for the country to put an end to an “era of withdrawal” in the matter.

The head of government spelled out the cutting-edge technologies on which the United Kingdom is working: drones, cybersecurity, a new center dedicated to artificial intelligence … He stressed that the projects concerning the British navy will make it possible to “restore the position of the United Kingdom- United as the first naval power in Europe ”.

Create 10,000 jobs per year

Boris Johnson also confirmed the creation of a new space command to send “British satellites” and “our first rocket, from Scotland, into space in 2022”. All of these projects will create up to 10,000 jobs per year, he said.

Some observers see the announcement of the plan as a message to the future government of US President-elect Joe Biden. For his part, the leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, approved this increase in spending, but denounced the lack of “strategy” and “clarity”, in particular on their financing.

These announcements come at a decisive moment for the United Kingdom, the outcome of negotiations with the European Union to try to conclude a free trade agreement to be known in the days to come, all in the midst of a pandemic linked to the new coronavirus.

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