The bravery and skill of the Ukrainian army must 4show us that the constant reduction in size of the British Army is Folly.
WATCH – My question to the Foreign Secretary on the need for a statement confirming a reversal of further Army cuts.
Toby Perkins: Thank you very much indeed, Madam Deputy Speaker. The Ukrainian army, with their skill and their bravery are showing that the Russian war machine can be stopped in its tracks. Now, the Secretary of State said a moment ago that we will learn lessons and one of those lessons surely has to be that over 12 years we have seen a systematic reduction in the size of the British army. There has been a sense that this government hasn’t really got an idea what it wants the British army to do so, can we now expect a statement from the Government that the current plans for further reducing the size of the British army are going to be stopped and that instead we are going to have a strategic approach that recognises alongside cyber, alongside the sort of terrorist threats we face, we also need to be ready to face these major state threats and that can’t be done overnight because a huge amount of skill and experience has been lost to the British army already and we need that investment and we need that strategic plan from the Government now. Will we get a statement to say we are going to get it?
Secretary of State: Well, I would point out to the Hon. Gentleman that Operation Orbital, led by the United Kingdom, to train up 20,000 Ukrainian troops has actually been a very, very important part of the success of the Ukrainian forces *in being able to resist and I pay huge tribute to the bravery of the Ukrainian forces but the UK has led on supplying that sort of support and training and, of course we need a comprehensive offer, that’s what we are doing, we are modernising our armed forces under the leadership of the Defence Secretary but we are also supplying more direct support into the Eastern flank of NATO to make sure that we are protecting European security at this vital time.