The U.K. spends two percent of it’s GDP on defense. Were it to double, it would cost taxpayers an extra 40 billion pounds per year.
Britain's foreign minister has argued for a large rise in military spending so that the U.S. isn’t ‘alone’ in fighting for ‘democratic values.’ Peace activists have condemned the move.
Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt told the Wall Street Journal Monday that Britain must radically raise spending on its military to support their “great ally” the U.S. He said that the U.S. must not be alone in “fighting for democratic values,” claiming that ‘threats’ from Russia and China were the concern.
Hunt didn’t specify exactly how much the increase should be, but said that it should be up to double what Britain currently spends. The U.K. spends two percent of it’s GDP on defense. Were it to double, it would cost taxpayers an extra 40 billion pounds per year. The U.K. is already the 7th highest spender on its military.
On Tuesday, anti-war activists condemned the ministers comments. The Peace Pledge Union said, “Jeremy Hunt appears to be more concerned with the desires of Donald Trump and with a potential Conservative Party leadership election than with global security or the needs of the British people” adding that, “pleasing Donald Trump should not be the basis of British foreign policy.”
The group’s spokesperson Symon Hill also pointed out that such a large increase in spending would be resented by voters who are facing government enforced austerity. “If you’re struggling to pay the bills, queuing at a food bank, or waiting months for a hospital appointment, your life won’t be made more stable or secure with tanks or aircraft carriers. Jeremy Hunt’s speech is a kick in the teeth for people struggling to make ends meet after years of austerity.”
The U.K. follows U.S. foreign policy in many areas. Both countries sell arms to the Saudi regime for its war on Yemen. The U.K was also one of the first countries to follow the U.S. in recognizing coup plotter Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela, and the Bank Of England has joined the economic war against the Bolivarian government by seizing over US$1 billion in gold reserves that Venezuela had deposited there.