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Defence Review

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under what circumstances he would consider undertaking a Defence Review. (180619)

[holding answer 21 January 2008]: The 1998 Strategic Defence Review (Cm 3999) and 2002 New Chapter (Cm 5566) White Papers identified the major challenges to UK security as the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the spread of international terrorism and the threat posed by weak and failing states. In response to these challenges, they set the requirement for the UK to maintain expeditionary, balanced and flexible armed forces. These assumptions were validated in the 2003 White Paper “Delivering security in a Changing World” (Cm 6041-I) and were endorsed again in work leading to the 2007 comprehensive spending review (Cm 7227). The recent CSR settlement of 1.5 per cent. real terms growth means an additional £7.7 billion for Defence by 2011, continuing the longest period of sustained real growth in planned defence spending since the 1980s. Our priority is to continue to modernise the armed forces to deliver the capabilities needed to meet these challenges.