UKIP’s Defence Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has slammed comments published in the Daily Telegraphy by former Liberal Democrat Defence Minister, Sir Nick Harvey, that reveal plans to cut the numbers of British Army personnel to 60,000 after the next election.
Speaking from Brussels where he is attending an EU Defence Committee, Mike said;
“Any suggestion that the British Army can afford to lose another 25% of its personnel and remain an effective fighting force is sheer lunacy! The British Army has already gone from 102,000 personnel in 2010 to 82,000 in 2014 and is struggling to cope, especially as the Government’s plans to recruit 30,000 part timers to the Territorials have failed.”
“As anyone who watches the news can tell you, the world is a very dangerous place at the moment and getting more so with each day that passes. The Government should be looking to increase the defence budget to pre 2010 levels, rather than making further cuts.”
“The British Army has the most dedicated and highly trained troops in the world. However, I really do think that if there are any further losses of experienced personnel and equipment, we will have an army in name only and the UK will lose any operation capacity it once had. For this reason, UKIP oppose any move to further cut armed forces personnel numbers.”