DEFENCE Secretary Ben Wallace opened fire at Rishi Sunak yesterday – warning Russia and China won’t pause their attacks while he sorts out the UK economy.
Wallace, a former guards officer, said: “The UK’s defence can never be paused in the face of financial uncertainty.”
He lashed out after the Chancellor scrapped a multi-year spending review, which the MoD was banking on to rebuild its forces fit for the future.
Sunak said a one year review would take place in November because of Covid uncertainty.
“The world does not stop for our reviews,” Wallace told a virtual security conference onboard the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth yesterday (Weds).
“Our adversaries will not halt in the absence of our strategies, and the UK’s defence can never be paused in the face of financial uncertainty.”
Sunak said the decision was taken because of the Covid uncertainty.
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The announcement stunned staff who were working on a wide ranging review of defence and foreign policy.
The Treasury said: “While the Government would have liked to outline plans for the rest of this Parliament, the right thing today is to focus entirely on the response to Covid-19 and supporting jobs – that’s what the public would expect.”
A defence spokesman said: “We are considering the implications for the completion of the Integrated Review, and will provide an update in due course.”
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