The Chancellor Philip Hammond today pledged an extra £1 billion for the Ministry of Defence in order to plug capability gaps and prevent further cuts.
The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been campaigning for an increase in spending since taking office last year. In June 2018, it was reported that he had asked the Prime Minister Theresa May for an extra £4 billion a year.
Despite the increase, a long term solution to the £20bn black hole has been delayed by at least 6 months until the 2019 spending review.
Earlier this year, the Defence Select Committee warned that the threat levels faced today were on par with that of the Cold War. They recommended an increase in the defence budget to 3% of GDP in order to maintain influence and capability.
Today’s boost will prevent further cuts to equipment. At the Tory Party Conference last month, it was announced that the amphibious assault ships HMS Albion and Bulwark (right) would be saved from cuts. Many anticipated their saving to come at a cost: the early retirement of a few Type 23 frigates. The extra £1bn should prevent this.