Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan used a backbench debate in the House of Commons to raise concerns over the review currently underway by the Government looking into the capability of the security and the armed forces.
Fellow Labour MP, Vernon Coaker, opened the debate with a powerful contribution paying tribute to the men and women who serve in the armed forces. The motion presented had some cross-party support.
Stephen Morgan MP contributed to the debate by intervening whilst a fellow MP raised concerns over the focus of the review.
Stephen said in the Chamber:
“I worry this capabilities review has nothing to do with strategy or looking at the role our armed forces play in the world, but just a last ditch attempt to try and get to grips with years of funding mistakes and indecision by the Government”.
Stephen is one of few parliamentarians who regularly visits our services and discusses issues affecting armed forces personnel. Shortly after being elected he signed up to the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, a programme to develop MP’s awareness and understanding of the modern day armed forces, to speak with authenticity in the House of Commons.
“The armed forces must be fully equipped and resourced to carry out their duties. Too often this just isn’t the case.
That’s why I am backing calls on the Government to ensure that defence expenditure is maintained at least at current levels, that no significant capabilities are withdrawn from service, and that the number of regular serving personnel and current levels of training are maintained.
These should be simple asks, because the defence of our nation is so important to us all. But sadly the Government continues to ignore calls from across the House and from those who have served our country, meaning short-sighted cuts and long-term hurt”.
The cross-party Defence Select Committee has pointed out that the affordability of the armed forces equipment plans ‘rests on £7.3bn of theoretical efficiency savings, in addition to the realisation of £7.1bn of previously announced savings, but it is extremely doubtful that the MoD can generate efficiencies on the scale required to deliver the equipment plan’.