Iain Duncan Smith calls for armed forces modernisation to be properly funded

25th January 2018

Iain Duncan Smith calls on the Secretary of State for Defence to learn from previous mistakes and ensure that armed forces modernisation proposals are properly funded.

May I welcome my right hon. Friend to his place? I have sat in this place for 25 years—as you know only too well, Mr Speaker—and, sadly, I know that every Government bring forward another statement about modernising the armed forces, but invariably end up spending less money on the armed forces, while leaving them under the same pressures.

May I urge my right hon. Friend, in the conduct of his office, to please learn from previous mistakes? For example, when we went into the Bosnia area we had a “just-in-time” equipment policy based on supermarkets. That was very modern, but it ended up with tanks up on the side of the road with no equipment because we could not get it to them “just in time”. War is an expensive and wasteful business. Will he please ensure that we do not repeat the nonsense of people saying, “You can modernise,” when actually they mean, “You cut”?

History teaches us many lessons, and we will try to learn as many of them as possible. My right hon. Friend has a lot of personal experience of the armed forces, and I welcome his contribution and thoughts on the review. We want the best armed forces possible. This is not an operation to take money off the armed forces; it is about ensuring that we get the armed forces and the support that we need, and recognising that they do the most amazing job for our country. That is what we hope to achieve as part of this review.

| Hansard


Freedom of Movement post Brexit by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

March 2018


This paper sets out proposals to revise the immigration system and additionally in the annexe it makes the point that more information is required to fully understand the nature of where the costs fall and benefits exist. The information on much, if not all, of this is held by the government.
The central objective should be to ensure control over the movement of people. Using a combination of work permits and a cap we would look to control access to work and rights to settlement. Free movement for EU citizens for other purposes should be preserved.