Just enough to have a few guards standing outside

  Cymro. 10:57 26 Jun 2018

BBC link

Personally I am very much against spending anything more than the absolute minimum on defence. Just enough to have a few guards standing outside Buckingham Palace would do me and even then it would be more than I wanted to spend. When o when is this country going to realise that (thankfully in my opinion) the days when the sun never set on the British Empire have long since gone. We are no longer the leading World Nation we once were and the sooner we realise that the better it will be.

  Forum Editor 11:07 26 Jun 2018

"Just enough to have a few guards standing outside Buckingham Palace would do me"

In which case, thank goodness you are not in charge of our country's defence strategy.

The whole point behind a military capability is to deter potential aggrssors, and to be able to defend ourselves if the deterrent factor doesn't do the job. It has nothing to do with empire.

"We are no longer the leading World Nation we once were"

Nevertheless, we are still ranked 6th in the world in terms of military capability.

  Cymro. 11:48 26 Jun 2018

F.E. Nevertheless, we are still ranked 6th in the world in terms of military capability.

So where are we ranked in terms of the other more important things in life such as personal happiness partly brought about by an affordable public health system and welfare state. There is more to a nation than it's position in a league table of who has the "Trump biggest button". Being "still ranked 6th in the world in terms of military capability" is no recommendation for anything. If we could afford such spending it would be a very different matter. People are quick enough to criticise NHS spending without realising there are other savings to be made. What happened to living within our means?

  carver 12:15 26 Jun 2018

"personal happiness partly brought about by an affordable public health system and welfare state." we could have an affordable health system if more people looked after their wellbeing and started slimming or stopped smoking. Also if some people didn't regard thew welfare state as a right then there could be more money found. Personally I prefer the Queen to be properly guarded and am not bothered about the money spent on her, she deserves every penny of it.

  john bunyan 13:27 26 Jun 2018

We rely on NATO as our collective defence, and a minimum of 2% of GDP is the target. We are an island nation and probably need a little more. The Defence of the Realm is the primary Government responsibility.

Just enough to have a few guards standing outside Buckingham Palace would do me and even then it would be more than I wanted to spend

Displays a breathtakingly naïve approach to the world today - very similar to that of the appeasers of Chamberlain's time who wanted to allow Hitler to have his way.

There are myriads of threats around from ISIS, N Korea etc, and with Putin in charge he has to know we can defend ourselves. Of course we should have no past colonial ambitions. Would Cymro have left the Falkland Islanders - who voted 99% to remain British - in the hands of the Argentine dictatorship? 2 - 3% of GDP is a minimum sum needed and I for one am happy to pay it. Often folk who contribute little in taxation or even are a net receiver are the ones who are the ultra pacifists. Such folk are fortunately a tiny minority.

  Forum Editor 16:08 26 Jun 2018

"What happened to living within our means?"

I invite you to name any developed nation on earth that lives within its means - if we tried to do that, we wouldn't have a National Health Service at all. We have been in debt for over 300 years, and in the mid 1800s our debt as a percentage of GDP was far higher than it is now.

Our national debt is currently running at around 80% of GDP, which is almost three times what it was twelve years ago. Indications are that it is leveling out, and the percentage is still considerably lower than that of the USA (92%) and Japan (over 220%).

The defence of the realm is one of the most important calls on any Chancellor's budget, and saying that you would be happy with just a few guards at Buckingham palace indicates a ludicrous lack of understanding about the real world.

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