PRIME Minister Boris Johnson announced plans yesterday to increase spending on defence and make the Royal Navy the biggest and most powerful in Europe.
He announced plans to build 13 new frigates; this contract had already been unveiled by former Prime Minister David Cameron five years ago, but Johnson chose to re-announce it yesterday.
While spending money on defence and military hardware will not please everyone, in some ways it does make sense. The thirteen frigates will be built in Scotland, sustaining thousands of jobs and also firing a salvo at the Scottish Nationalist's plans for independence. New support ships are expected to be built in shipyards in Northern Ireland and England and the other defence programmes unveiled yesterday will support thousands of jobs across Britain.
It must be remembered that Britain has one of the biggest defence industries in the world, employing thousands of highly specialised engineers. The government is also seeking to help British shipyards to win lucrative contracts for a new design of frigates. So far orders have been received from Australia and Canada and Greece could follow. It is a bold move by the Johnson administration. By sinking money into the the defence budget the government hopes to revive the British manufacturing industry and also give Britain a greater military role on the world stage. After years of cuts, the armed forces have something to cheer.