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Strategic Defence and Security Review

Volume 522: debated on Monday 31 January 2011

16. What recent assessment he has made of how the commitments in the strategic defence and security review are to be funded from his Department’s budget settlement. (36751)

The strategic defence and security review established the policy framework for the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces, and the capabilities that they will need to meet future challenges. It includes a period of rebalancing over the next few years as we transform, but further work is required to fully balance the books because we are not there yet and are still in planning round 11.

In a recent Financial Times article on the subject, headed “MoD faces fresh crisis over funding”, which predicted a £1 billion shortfall for each year, a senior military figure is quoted as saying:

“Every day at the MoD these days seems like a day at the dentist.”

What on earth could he have meant?

I have no idea, but, given that I can pick in any one newspaper on any one day at the present time some quotation from some senior former or serving military personnel, I can put all sorts of interpretations on all sorts of things. What I am very clear about is that Ministers and the military will work together to deliver the SDSR and our 2020 vision. Hopefully, through that period of transformation, we will come out with armed forces properly equipped and shaped for Britain’s proper national security.