Dr Julian Lewis: I thank the Prime Minister for the letter that he sent to the Defence Committee earlier this month, pledging what he called
“an absolute commitment to fund defence fully”.
Does he accept that events in the Gulf have cruelly illustrated the fact that the size of the Royal Navy is now way below critical mass? Will he join the Defence Committee in wishing to reverse the reckless reduction in defence spending by successive Governments from 3.1% of GDP in the 1990s to just 1.8% in like-for-like terms today?
[The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson): I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the campaign he has waged for many years to support our armed services. I share with him a strong desire to increase spending, particularly on shipbuilding, which not only drives high-quality jobs in this country, but is a fantastic export for the UK around the world. The ships we are building now are being sold for billions of pounds to friends and partners around the world. We should be very proud of what we are achieving.]