LARISA BROWN FOR THE DAILY MAIL see also 2012-022 Degrading the morale and capabilities of UK Armed Forces
Britain’s defence is ‘balanced on a knife edge’ and will reach crisis point unless more money is found, a former head of the Royal Navy has claimed.
Warning of the crippling impact of further cuts to the Armed Forces, Admiral Lord West said the UK was on the ‘road to disaster’.
He said Britain was becoming a foreign policy ‘irrelevance’ and accused David Cameron of ‘not practising what he preaches’.
His comments came as it emerged that the Ministry of Defence has been told to slash £1billion from the annual defence budget of £36.5billion in a move that could hit operations overseas.
The department has already suffered devastating cuts. It is understood that Chancellor George Osborne is seeking to cut the budgets of most government departments by 5 per cent this year.
As a result, the Treasury has told departments – with the exception of health, education and international development – to find savings totalling £3billion or more before the Budget in July.
The move has infuriated military chiefs and will anger many Tory MPs, who have repeatedly called for the Prime Minister to commit to spending 2 per cent of national income on defence in line with the Nato target.
Analysts say cutting the defence budget to such a degree would mean the UK would be likely to fall short of the target and this would reduce Britain’s standing on the world stage.
Lord West, a former first sea lord and Labour security minister, said: ‘We must not delude ourselves. We are at a turning point. Unless more money is found for defence, defence is in a crisis.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3103275/Armed-Forces-road-disaster-Ex-Navy-chief-s-warning-amid-fears-1billion-cuts.html#ixzz3bgpjdbOt
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