PRIME MINISTER – EU COUNTRIES' DEFENCE EXPENDITURE – 19 December 2016
[The Prime Minister: The Council was updated by Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, who have obviously been leading in relation to discussions on the Minsk agreement. Everyone is concerned about the fact that the agreement still has not been put in place. I believe that we needed to roll over the sanctions in order to show our continuing rigour, and our continuing expectation that Russia will abide by the requirements.
Several hon. Members rose –
Mr Speaker: Ah, yes, the good doctor. Dr Julian Lewis.]
Dr Julian Lewis:We see EU countries dangerously duplicating NATO’s structures, but without American participation. Would it not do much more for the defence of Europe if France and Germany, and other EU states that are members of NATO, spent a minimum of 2% of their GDP on defence?
[The Prime Minister: I agree with my right hon. Friend. We want to see other countries step up to the plate. This country is spending 2% of its budget on defence; we think that others should be doing the same, and I have been encouraging them to do so.]