The UK’s most urgent need is to defend it’s new trade routes when it signs new agreements (FTAs) Free Trade Agreements with countries across the world. Many countries have indicated that they want to set up new FTAs with the UK just as soon as we have left the European Union. That said, we already trade with a lot of these countries, through the EU Customs Union agreements. As a result our trade routes with those countries may already have sufficient protection from either our own forces or those of a friendly neighbouring state.
We have a much depleted military in terms of manpower, equipment and machines, although some of the machinery is the best we could buy at the time. The RAF is relying on the Eurofighter Typhoon currently as it’s front-line fighter and will be joined by the F35B soon. The Royal Navy with it’s two QE Class aircraft carriers will not be fitted with CATOBAR as first planned because of cost restraints, so the more efficient and faster F-35C Lightning was cancelled resorting to the cheaper and less effective ski-jump for VSTOL aircraft tested in-service on the through-deck carriers used until recently. The various Army regiments and Royal Marines are using a variety of older and new equipment which requires arduous training and maintenance. There is a need for a tri-service communications and battlefield/sea area vision system which will give all commanders instant exposure to on-going events during conflicts.
Above all, we need to have at our disposal expeditionary forces in sufficient numbers and with more than adequate, fully serviced machinery, aircraft and ships based in more appropriate areas of our trading spheres.
Some stores are located in ready-use locations for use by expeditionary forces and have been used in the past; Ascension Islands, Diego Garcia, Australia and New Zealand, Falkland Islands, Caribbean, Cyprus, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Brunei, to name but a few. What is important is where we base our ships, aircraft and manpower. Gone are the days where it took a few weeks for any conflict to be even recognised; nowadays, conflicts can be started and finished within hours or a couple of days. Electronics and highly sophisticated weaponry and detection systems have altered the way the world engages in conflicts. Yes, there are still poorer factions who can still be dangerous; terrorism and pirates have proven their points in recent months and years.
It is time to cut to the chase. All of this costs money and where is the extra cash going to come from to ensure that Britain is not only successful in the market place but is prepared to defend herself and her trading partners against all attack? That is for the government of the day to decide, but decide they must. I have already suggested that the Foreign Aid budget, the Act and the ring-fencing should be scrapped – that’s £80 billion every year. We could also afford to lose Trident submarines; they are a costly, unwanted form of defence which encourages other mighty nations to arm with similar ICBM submarines. We are committed to reducing ICBM nuclear weapons and should show the rest of the world we stand by our word. Saving enormous amounts of money on building the submarines and weapons, where we could invest smaller amounts on our nuclear driven submarines instead, still based at HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.