PM Statement on National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015
(Source: UK Government; issued Nov 23, 2015)
After having made swingeing cuts to the armed forces in his previous defense review in 2010, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced new plans that will almost restore them to their previous state. (UK MoD file photo)

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Mr Speaker, our national security depends on our economic security, and vice versa.

So the first step in keeping our country safe is to ensure our economy is, and remains, strong.

Over the last 5 years we have taken the difficult decisions needed to bring down our deficit and restore our economy to strength.

In 2010, we were ordering equipment for which there was literally no money.

The total black hole in the defence budget alone was bigger than the entire defence budget in that year.

Now it is back in balance.

By sticking to our long-term economic plan, Britain has become the fastest growing major advanced economy in the world for the last 2 years.

And our renewed economic security means that today we can show how we can afford to invest further in our national security.

Growing threats to our security
Mr Speaker, this is vital at a time when the threats to our country are growing.

This morning I was in Paris with President Hollande discussing how we can work together to defeat the evil of ISIL.

As the murders on the streets of Paris reminded us so starkly, ISIL is not some remote problem thousands of miles away.

It is a direct threat to our security at home and abroad.

It has already taken the lives of British hostages…

…and carried out the worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches of Tunisia…

…to say nothing of the 7 terrorist plots right here in Britain that have been foiled by our security services over the past year.

And of course, Mr Speaker, the threats we face today go beyond this evil death cult.

From the crisis in Ukraine…

…to the risks of cyber-attacks and pandemics…

…the world is more dangerous and uncertain today than even 5 years ago.

So while every government must choose how to spend the money it has available…

…every penny of which is hard-earned by taxpayers…

…this government has taken a clear decision to invest in our security and safeguard our prosperity.

As a result, the United Kingdom is the only major country in the world today which is simultaneously going to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of our GDP on defence…

…and the UN target of spending 0.7% of our GNI on development…

…while also increasing investment in our security and intelligence agencies and in counter-terrorism.

Mr Speaker, in ensuring our national security, we will also protect our economic security.

As a trading nation with the world’s fifth biggest economy, we depend on stability and order in the world. With 5 million British nationals living overseas, our prosperity depending on trade around the world, so engagement is not an optional extra, it is fundamental to the success of our nation.

We need the sea lanes to stay open and the arteries of global commerce to remain free flowing.

So the strategy which I am presenting to the House today sets out a clear vision for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and global influence.

At its heart is an understanding that we cannot choose between conventional defences against state-based threats on the one hand…

…and the need to counter threats that do not recognise national borders.

Today we face both and we must respond to both types of threat.

So over the course of this Parliament our priorities are to deter state-based threats…

…to tackle terrorism…

…to remain a world leader in cyber security…

…and ensure we have the capability to respond rapidly to crises as they emerge.

And to meet these priorities we will continue to harness all the tools of national power available to us, coordinated through the National Security Council, to deliver a ‘full-spectrum approach’.

This includes support for our Armed Forces…


…international aid and diplomacy…

…and working with our allies to deal with the common threats that face us all.

Let me take each in turn. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full statement, on the UK government website.


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