New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: When the Secretary of State is next having a word in the shell-like ear of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will he mention that it does not make a lot of sense for any Government to say that defence is the first duty of Government if they protect other Departments’ spending but not defence spending?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon): I know of my hon. Friend’s long-standing commitment to defence and to defence expenditure. He is right, of course, that the first duty of Government is to defend our country and our people. I reminded him earlier of the commitments in the manifesto to protect the size and power of our armed forces right through this Parliament. However, I note what he has said. Those commitments are for the remaining three financial years, from 2016-17 onwards. These are matters for negotiation in the autumn.]