Portsmouth pressure group urges government to cancel defence cuts

AXED HMS Ark Royal
AXED HMS Ark Royal
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THE government must stop its cuts to defence spending or it will risk becoming a cabinet of ‘guilty men’, according to the Portsmouth-based UK National Defence Association.

Members of the association, which include high-ranking former forces officers, compare David Cameron to Neville Chamberlain in the 1930s, who failed to increase Britain’s defences despite the growing threat from Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The UKNDA has issued two reports. The first is called Disarmament and its Consequences, while the second is called A National Debate on Defence - A Dire Necessity.

The second warned that the world was increasingly unstable with countries such as Russia and China expanding their military forces, the Middle East more volatile than ever, piracy on the increase and America reducing its commitments in Europe.

The report said Britain’s security has been “seriously compromised” by the spending plans and called for a public debate on the ‘potentially disastrous disarmament programme’, which looks to cut the defence budget by 7.5 per cent to £33.5bn.

“Any other course would be illogical, dangerous and ultimately self-defeating”, historian Andrew Roberts warned in the foreword.

Others who contributed to the report included former Bosnia commander General Sir Michael Rose and Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Blackham, a former deputy chief of the defence staff.

Co-author, Air Commodore Lambert said the effects of the cuts would be the ‘slow but inevitable decline in to irrelevancy’ for the UK’s standing on the world stage.

He warned as the country’s reputation fell it would face having to fight more wars, including a potential second Falklands conflict with Argentina.