Gavin Williamson Criticised Over “Underwhelming” Funding

Posted on December 19, 2018

The Defence Secretary has announced further details from the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) – the review of the Armed Forces capabilities and spending – but has faced accusations that the findings are “underwhelming” and contain “no new money”.

Addressing the House of Commons, Gavin Williamson confirmed the £1.8 billion of defence funding announced earlier in the year and said British defence would consist of five domains. “Our adversaries and competitors are accelerating the development of new capabilities and strategies,” he said. “We must keep pace and conceive of our joint force, consisting of five domains of air, land, sea, cyber and space, rather than the traditional three.”  The MDP was launched in January in light of changes to the security threats the UK is facing.

Publication of the results have been delayed numerous times, and there had been concerns cuts were imminent after reports from the National Audit Office revealed a £7bn hole in the Ministry of Defence’s Equipment Plan. Mr Williamson revealed to the Commons the new Spearhead programmes would apply modern technologies to sub-surface submarine threats, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and command and control in the land environment. Despite the focus on new areas, traditional capabilities such as jets, warships and armoured vehicles will not be cut, Mr Williamson said.

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