MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK Minister for Defense People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood has voiced readiness to resign if cost-saving measures, including reducing the army to fewer than 70,000 soldiers, are imposed, The Times newspaper reported on Saturday.
Ellwood has reportedly shared with his colleagues his "deep discomfort" concerning several cost-saving options that the UK Defense Ministry was facing.
Serious Tory rebellion brewing over Defence. Member of govt's ministerial team confirms to me @Tobias_Ellwood will resign if army cut to below 70k. Several Tory MPs want Trident taken out of Defence budget.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) November 25, 2017
Other than the army cuts, the possible measures include lowering an order for a new generation of Ajax mini-tanks and postponing the upgrade of a fleet of armored vehicles and tanks, according to the newspaper.
In response to Ellwood's claims, the spokesperson of the British Defense Ministry commented on the possible army spending cuts saying that "no decisions have been made and any discussion of the options is pure speculation." He added that the UK has the biggest defense budget in Europe, with the 2017 defense expenditures standing at the point of 36 billion pounds ($48 billion).