[The Minister for Armed Forces (James Heappey): … As for the plan for next year, I completely accept that the right hon. Gentleman [Shadow Secretary of State for Defence (John Healey)] is right to say that a number could have been given in the autumn statement, but surely it is more important to give a number that reflects the discussions that the chairman of the joint chiefs, the Chief of the Defence Staff and General Zaluzhny have had, and those that senior US, UK and Ukrainian politicians have had, in order to understand the Ukrainian ambition for their operations next year, so that we can resource that properly. All the way through, what the UK has done better than anyone else in the world is understand what the Ukrainians want to do next and get there first in delivering that capability, in so doing emboldening others to follow. As soon as the plan for next year is confirmed, I am certain that the amount that it will cost will be announced to Parliament and the plan firmed up, so that the right hon. Gentleman will be satisfied.]
Sir Julian Lewis: That is an intriguing rationale for the fact that we gave £2.3 billion for the first year of the war and £2.3 billion for the second year of the war. Can the Minister convey to his colleagues in Government that Members on both sides of the House would be dismayed if we gave less than £2.3 billion for the year ahead? In his discussions with the Chancellor, might the Defence Secretary remind him that, when he stood for the leadership of the Conservative party, he recommended not 2% but 4% of GDP to be spent on defence?
[James Heappey: I certainly can.]