Dr Julian Lewis: May I warmly welcome the Chancellor’s remarks about defence and security? As it took us very many years to pay off this country’s colossal second world war debt, am I right in thinking that the huge costs of covid and Putin’s aggression in Ukraine cannot possibly be cleared completely in the short to medium term?
[The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Jeremy Hunt): I wish I could answer that question. As my right hon. Friend will know better than me, this appalling saga is far from over, so we do not know what the total costs will be. I thank him for his rapid and not entirely unexpected lobbying on defence budget issues since I took up this post. I think the job of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to make sure that our economy is strong enough to fund the role that Britain wants to play in defence of democracy and freedom all over the world.]