The UK has a key role in NATO’s enhanced forward presence by leading a battlegroup in Estonia and contributing to a US-led battlegroup in Poland. We have deployed about 800 personnel to Estonia and about 150 to Poland. These deployments are but part of our broader commitment to NATO and its assurance measures on the alliance’s eastern flank.
I thank the Minister for that response. Does he agree with me that both our security and our economy rely on the confidence placed in us by our NATO allies that we will, in the event of an article 5 situation, be both ready and willing to support our eastern flank NATO allies?
My hon. Friend makes a very important point. It is absolutely right that hard power is an important part of maintaining our defence and security. Indeed, the vice-chief of the defence staff said the same last week, and he made a strong case for spending more on defence. Our armed forces and our civilians in defence must and do work in partnership with other Departments in international development and, indeed, diplomacy.