New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
29 August 2013updated 27 Sep 2015 5:33am

Why does UKIP oppose defence cuts if it wants to end “foreign wars”?

The party opposes intervention in Syria and elsewhere but still wants to increase the defence budget by £17.4bn to £50bn.

By George Eaton

While it remains to be seen what position Labour will take on military action Syria once the UN weapons inspectors have reported, one party has already declared its unconditional opposition to intervention: UKIP. 

Farage’s men have sent out a van emblazoned with the words: “UKIP says NO to war in Syria. Stop defence cuts at home, fighting foreign wars and causing misery abroad”. In response, the Economist’s Daniel Knowles asks, “Given that Ukip are so keen that we shouldn’t get involved in foreign wars, why do they want to stop defence cuts?” It’s a good question.

The defence section on the party’s website states that it wants to increase total spendng to £50bn in 2016, £17.4bn more than planned by the government (£32.6bn). But with the party pledged to disband the Ministry of Defence “in order to reform it as a streamlined ministry”, cancel the replacement of Trident and remove foreign military aid (£4bn) from the budget, what does it intend to spend the inflated sum on? 

It promises “an initial 5 year capital expenditure programme” of £10 bn to restore “threatened items including army manpower, armour, fighters, advanced surveillance platforms, the second aircraft carrier and major surface combat vessels”, which seems rather extravagant if there’s little prospect of them being used (at least in the absence of an invasion of Gibraltar or the Falklands). 

Unless UKIP knows something we don’t. Is an EU rebel force heading across the Channel? We should be told. 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors