Local MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday emphasised the need to hit the Government's target of spending 2% of our GDP on Defence.

Caroline was speaking in a Parliamentary debate about the next Defence and Security Review and NATO and took the opportunity to call on the Government to protect its commitment to spending 2% of GDP on Defence. She argued that not doing so would weaken the Armed Forces, damage Britain's standing with its allies, and impact upon the UK's credibility as a major player in NATO and on the world stage.

Speaking in the Chamber, Caroline said:

"There are those who believe that we no longer have a significant role to play in the world, and consequently that spending on defence is not a priority. I think the nature of the threats we face from an aggressive Russian dictator who rips up the international rule book; as well as that from ISIS and other terrorist organisations, means now would be the worst possible time to cut back on our defence."

After the debate, she commented:

"Our area has an extremely proud military heritage and over the years we have been deeply affected by Government cuts to Defence spending. At this time of great international tension, the damage caused by reducing the Defence budget will go well beyond our Armed Forces and the communities that support them.

A lot is at stake and we must stand up alongside our allies and take responsibility for preserving the peace and stability that we currently enjoy; protecting our Defence budget is a key part of doing that."

You can read the full speech here: Column 754).