Dr Julian Lewis: When Ministers meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer will they remind him that although the defence budget is going up in absolute terms it is nevertheless at a lower proportion of GDP than ever before? We really ought to be looking at something approaching the 3% mark, bearing in mind the fact that the level of threat we face today is similar to that of the 1980s, when we regularly spent between 4.5% and 5% of GDP on defence.
[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Harriett Baldwin): My right hon. Friend was calling for 5% the other day – “Go for five and stay alive” was the catchphrase he came up with, I think. He is right that it is important that we continue to keep the Ministry of Defence’s budget under review, and we were very pleased that last year the spending review committed to a rise of 0.5% above inflation every year during this Parliament. Another spending review will have to look at the budget again in due course.]