Following the Government statement on the modernising defence programme, Philip Dunne welcomes the additional funding and asks the Government how this money will ensure that defence will contribute to the prosperity of the UK.
I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement, including his confirmation that there will be additional funds for the Ministry of Defence next year. I also welcome what he said about capabilities. Will he take this opportunity to tell us how he sees defence contributing to the prosperity of the United Kingdom with that extra money, and also to dispel some of the myths that are spreading outside this place about the future relationship between the MOD and the EU in respect of security matters?
I thank my hon. Friend for his review on promoting prosperity through defence. Investment in capabilities, whether it involves ships, jets or land vehicles, is a real driver in the creation of jobs and investment, and the MOD is one of the largest departmental investors in science. We want to think about how we can leverage that more and more. We have seen some fantastic orders over the last year, including a £5 billion order from Qatar and a £20 billion order from Australia for a new frigate. Another great success has been the potential for a large order from the Canadians. However, we will continue to ensure prosperity is at the very heart of everything that we do. Some of the best examples of what British products can achieve is demonstrated through what our armed forces do with them.