Despite the supposed British economic turmoil, UK Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, disclosed the Government’s pledge to increase defence, for the first time from the end of the Cold War, spending up to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030 - higher than the aspirational 2.5% from her predecessor Boris Johnson. It means effectively double spending on the military to an annual budget of £100bn (€111bn) by the end of this decade, moving from the current 2,1% of GDP (£48bn). During the same interview, Secretary Wallace, who has been in the job since 2019, said he is delighted that after “30 or 40 years of defending against cuts”, the Ministry of Defence is “actually going to grow” again. He also provided some insight on the needs which may be addressed, thanks to the new budget and the lesson learned/identified provided from the Russian invasion of Ucraine: ISR, new artillery batteries, signals intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare (EW), and certainly counter-UAV capabilities. Wallace underlined that his Ministry and the British military leadership are going to face the new budget increments by a completely different culture, which is not only oriented to grow, but actually change to meet the threats and the ambitions. However, the pledge of what would be a huge rise in defense spending will advance between multiple obstacles due to the tough economic times. Rising inflation, a slump in the value of the Pound against the dollar and sky high fuel costs will continue to execute friction against the defense department finances and the defence industry. The significant injection of funds will also support a lot of companies which haven’t sufficiently hedged the raising costs in their supply chains and their innovative projects. For these reasons some analysts have questioned whether a £100 billion-a-year defense budget is affordable let alone whether the MoD could rapidly digest such huge spending increases. Some of them reckon there is little chance the budget numbers touted by Secretary Wallace and the Prime Minister will actually be met.
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