Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border and former Chair of the Defence Select Committee, welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that the Government will continue to fulfill the United Kingdom’s NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

He said: “I am delighted that the Government will be fulfilling its commitment to our NATO allies even when money is scarce. With the emergence of an openly hostile Russia, and the ongoing conflagration in the Middle East and North Africa, the world – and our neighbourhood in particular – is an increasingly dangerous place. The Government recognises this unfortunate reality and as well as providing much-needed resources for maintaining Britain’s security, it has sent a message to allies and adversaries alike that we remain a serious player in global affairs.

“I would like to pay tribute to my former colleagues on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, who worked so hard to enable a well-informed public debate. I look forward to the contribution that will be made by our successors in the new Parliament, led by the magnificent Julian Lewis MP, in helping the Government to ensure that these welcome resources are deployed in the best possible way.”

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