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Boris Johnson is facing calls for a post-9/11 style surge in defence spending amid fears spiking inflation means budgets are set to fall 3 per cent in real terms.

Labour says the the Ukraine crisis has exposed flaws in plans to cut the army and the PM’s ‘vanity plan’ to create a Global Britain ’tilt’ away from Europe.

In the decade after the 9/11 attacks, UK defence spending increased by £10billion – partly to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

By contrast, last week the respected IFS think-tank warned that accounting for inflation day-to-day funding could be 3 per cent lower than expected over the rest of this Parliament. That is equivalent to a cash shortfall of around £1.7billion.

The government will still meet its NATO commitment to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence due to major outlays on capital projects. 

Shadow defence secretary John Healey did not put a firm figure on the increase he wanted to see, but pointed out that last year’s Integrated Review now looked woefully out of date.

He said the ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’ and cutting the strength of the army was a mistake when Russia was ‘waging war in Europe’.

In a swipe at Rishi Sunak for failing to act in his mini-Budget last week, Mr Healey said Vladimir Putin was not ‘operating to the Treasury’s timetable or the MoD’s five-yearly defence review’. 

Shadow defence secretary John Healey (pictured right with Keir Starmer in Estonia earlier this month) did not put a firm figure on the increase in spending he wanted to see, but pointed out that last year's Integrated Review now looked woefully out of date

Shadow defence secretary John Healey (pictured right with Keir Starmer in Estonia earlier this month) did not put a firm figure on the increase in spending he wanted to see, but pointed out that last year's Integrated Review now looked woefully out of date

Shadow defence secretary John Healey (pictured right with Keir Starmer in Estonia earlier this month) did not put a firm figure on the increase in spending he wanted to see, but pointed out that last year’s Integrated Review now looked woefully out of date

Last week the respected IFS think-tank warned that accounting for inflation day-to-day funding could be 3 per cent lower

Last week the respected IFS think-tank warned that accounting for inflation day-to-day funding could be 3 per cent lower

Last week the respected IFS think-tank warned that accounting for inflation day-to-day funding could be 3 per cent lower

Mr Healey said: ‘Global Britain’ was the Prime Minister’s vanity plan, not a national strategy for Britain to be a force for good in the world. 

‘It took security and prosperity in Europe for granted. Europe’s deterrence has failed to prevent Russian aggression, so Western defence, deterrence and diplomacy must all be strengthened. 

‘First and foremost, Britain’s main task must be to honour our NATO obligations in Europe.

‘Ministers must respond to new threats to UK and European security, just as Labour in Government did after the 9/11 terror attacks with the largest sustained increase in defence spending for two decades.

‘Putin isn’t operating to the Treasury’s timetable or the MoD’s five-yearly defence reviews. 

‘Russia is waging a war in Europe, so Britain can’t carry on with business as before. 

‘European allies are already rebooting their defence plans and boosting defence spending, the UK Government must act as well.

‘Ministers must urgently revisit the integrated review, review defence spending, reform military procurement and rethink army cuts.’

The government expects to have a resource spend of £36.1billion on defence in 2021-2022, as well as £14.6billion on capital items. 

But the IFS estimated that even including the capital budget funding will fall by 1.9 per cent in the coming years in real terms.

Labour says the government's strategy must change with Putin waging a war in Europe (pictured, wreckage in Mariupol yesterday)

Labour says the government's strategy must change with Putin waging a war in Europe (pictured, wreckage in Mariupol yesterday)

Labour says the government’s strategy must change with Putin waging a war in Europe (pictured, wreckage in Mariupol yesterday)

Source: Daily Mail

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