Value of UK defence sector to economy highlighted

Gavin Williamson has urged for extra defence spending by emphasising an independent report on defence contributions to the economy.

Commissioned by Williamson and published on 9 July, the review concludes, according to the Ministry of Defence, that defence played an integral role in British prosperity. The review was led by Philip Dunne, a Conservative Defence Minister from 2015 to 2016 and does not mention reference any alternatives, such as whether money spent on defence could be used to diversify into other economic areas or that the savings could be made by buying cheaper, already developed equipment from overseas.

According to reports, the Defence Secretary is seeking an extra £20 billion in spending over the next decade, which Chancellor Philip Hammond is refusing to provide. Dunne claims that, in addition to the MOD budget of almost £37 billion, defence’s direct contribution to GDP features more than £7 billion of exports generated each year on average.

Williamson said: “Philip Dunne’s review shows how vital defence is, not only protecting us from global dangers and safeguarding our national prosperity, but also [for] our economy, by creating thousands of specialist and highly skilled jobs and creating billions in exports.”

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