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    Gavin Williamson, right, outside the Ministry of Defence in London after he was named as the new Secretary of State for Defence following the resignation of Sir Michael Fallon who admitted his behaviour had fallen below the high standards required in the role, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

    UK Military Needs Billions of Pounds of Additional Funding – Defense Minister

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    Earlier this week, the former head of Britain’s armed forces warned that the government should consider increasing its defense budget above the NATO target of two percent of GDP to maintain its global power and influence.

    UK Defense Minister Gavin Williamson will request billions of pounds of additional funding from Prime Minister Theresa May at a meeting next week, The Times reported on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: UK PM May Calls Britain Leading Defense Nation Amid Controversial Rumors

    He will reportedly ask for £4 billion (almost $5.3 billion at the current GBP/USD exchange rate) of extra funding per year for the armed force’s budget.

    During the meeting, the defense secretary will also discuss the future of the British military with the PM. Despite a parliamentary committee and numerous retired senior military personnel calling for the armed force’s budget to be increased, PM May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond aren’t planning to grant additional funding, a government source told The Times.

    Williamson had earlier warned that some 50 backbench Tory MPs would rebel against the government, potentially “breaking” it, if PM May refuses to increase the Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) budget.

    Military chiefs have warned that without a “significant” injection of funds into the military’s budget, further cuts to almost every branch of the armed forces would be needed.

    Stephen Lovegrove, the MoD’s most senior civil servant, reportedly said that even a further $2 billion in annual funding would not suffice.

    On Tuesday, the former head of Britain’s armed forces, General Lord Nick Houghton warned that the British government is “living a lie” with regard to its military spending plans, and should accept that not spending more money on defense is likely to lead to a loss of global power and influence.

    In addition to coming under pressure from the defense minister and senior military officials to increase defense spending, PM May is also reportedly being urged by US President Donald Trump to hike military spending and contribute above the NATO target of two percent of GDP. 

    READ MORE: Ex-Military Chief Says UK Government is 'Living a Lie' on Defense Spending

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    defense budget, meeting, budget, military, UK Government, NATO, UK Ministry of Defence, Nick Houghton, Gavin Williamson, Donald Trump, Theresa May, United States, United Kingdom
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