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Senior peer calls for increased UK defence spending after Minister admits fall in response to Parliamentary Question

Lord Rogan has called for the Government to rapidly increase investment in the UK Armed Forces after receiving a reply to his Written Parliamentary Question which revealed that defence spending is significantly lower as a percentage of GDP than when the Conservatives came to power 14 years ago.

In his response to the Ulster Unionist peer, Defence Minister the Earl of Minto admitted that UK defence spending in 2023 had fallen to just 2.28 percent of GDP compared to 2.47 percent in 2010.

Lord Rogan commented: “We are living through particularly dangerous times with major conflicts going on in the Middle East and Ukraine, plus repeated military threats to Taiwan from China.

“This is not a time for the United Kingdom to drop its guard but, as these figures demonstrate, that is precisely what has been allowed to happen.

“It is the first responsibility of any Government to protect the sovereignty of its territory and the security of its citizens.

“However, the fall in defence spending over the lifetime of the current Government shows that a succession of Prime Ministers from David Cameron to Rishi Sunak have been asleep at the wheel.

“We have heard calls from former and even serving Conservative Ministers for defence spending to go above 2.5 percent of GDP.  I believe we should be aiming for 3 percent as a minimum.

“Most importantly, given the lead time for increased spending in our Armed Forces to deliver concrete results such as new equipment and more trained service personnel, we need that investment to happen right away.”

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Parliamentary Written Question Lord Rogan: To ask His Majesty’s Government how much they have spent on defence as a share of gross domestic product in each year since 2010. [HL3636] The Earl of Minto: NATO’s published figures for UK defence spending as a percentage of GDP spend since 2010 are below.
Year % Share of GDP
2010 2.47
2011 2.38
2012 2.16
2013 2.24
2014 2.14
2015 2.03
2016 2.09
2017 2.08
2018 2.10
2019 2.08
2020 2.35
2021 2.29
2022 2.29
2023 2.28

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