Cameron urged to act "in the national interest" on defence

Tuesday October 5, 2010
Defence campaigners are urging Prime Minister David Cameron to put the National Interest first when making decisions on funding for the Armed Forces.

With the Conservative Party Conference due to discuss defence and foreign affairs tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) is calling on David Cameron to assure the Armed Forces and the British people that overall defence spending will not fall as a result of the current Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

UKNDA spokesman Andy Smith said: "The Conservative conference slogan is ‘Together in the National Interest’. It is certainly in the National Interest that the Government should invest in providing Britain with balanced, flexible Armed Forces capable of defending the UK, playing our vital role in Nato, and ensuring the security of our borders, our trade and energy supply routes, and our world-wide strategic interests.

"For the Coalition to impose further cuts on our already underfunded, overstretched Armed Forces would be reckless in the extreme. It would severely weaken our nation’s security and undermine our global role and influence to the point where there would be no prospect of recovering these capabilities. Yet there are growing fears within the Armed Forces and the general public that this is exactly what David Cameron’s government is contemplating.

"The idea that the United Kingdom – the sixth largest economy in the world – can no longer afford adequate defence is utterly ludicrous. The Prime Minister must end the uncertainty and anxiety in the Armed Forces by giving a firm pledge that funding for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will not be cut. This is the moment to demonstrate the Coalition’s absolute commitment to put Britain first."
The United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA) was formed in 2007 to campaign in support of Britain’s Armed Forces. The Patrons of the UKNDA include three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff – Admiral The Lord Boyce, Marshal of the RAF The Lord Craig, and General The Lord Guthrie. Tri-Service and politically independent, the UKNDA aims to ensure that Britain's fighting men and women are properly trained, equipped, sustained and cared for. The Association’s founder-President, Winston S. Churchill, former MP and war correspondent (and grandson of Britain's WWII Prime Minister), died on March 2, 2010.