UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the United Kingdom was the leading military power in Europe, and vowed to do utmost to ensure that it would retain this status.
"We are the leading military power in Europe with the capabilities to protect our people, defend our interests and protect our values supporting the global rules-based system. And the government that I lead will ensure that is exactly how we remain," May said, addressing the House of Commons.
The statement comes amid reported disagreements between May and UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.
May reportedly urged Williamson to focus on enhancing UK's cyber warfare capability instead of modernizing the existing capabilities of the armed forces. Last week, media also reported about rising tensions between Chancellor Philip Hammond and Williamson over the latter’s push for extra money in defense spending.
The intense debate around UK military capabilities and defense spending also come in the run-up to the NATO summit slated to take place in Brussels on July 11-12, during which allies are expected to reiterate their commitment to the armed forces and reinforcing collective security.