UK Armed Forces Debate

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Department: Ministry of Defence
Tuesday 12th March 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Earl of Minto Portrait The Earl of Minto (Con)
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My Lords, there were a lot of questions there. On the question of the contracts, the DE&S is actually overseeing 2,600 different contracts across 550 different programmes, delivering, believe it or not, 98% of key user requirements. It achieves 90% of the strategic milestones and, contrary to public perception, and indeed to perception within this House, it delivers well to budget.

Lord Robathan Portrait Lord Robathan (Con)
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My Lords, my noble friend is making a good fist of defending a frankly indefensible brief. He and I both served together in the Cold War —a long half-century ago—but there is now a hot war in Europe. It is taking place as we speak, hundreds of thousands of people are being killed, and it is against the same opponent. As the noble Lord, Lord Lee, has just said—and I hate to agree with the Liberal Democrats —we cannot say that we will set out our long-term aspiration to increase defence spending “when fiscal and economic circumstances allow”. It is now; we must spend money now before the whole of European prosperity and our prosperity are destroyed.

Earl of Minto Portrait The Earl of Minto (Con)
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My Lords, I can do no more than take that message back, and take the tone of the House back, to the Secretary of State. He will not be surprised, but I will certainly undertake to do that.