Defence and Tackling Terrorism

In these challenging times it is even more important that we have a Government and a Prime Minister who is committed to keeping us safe.  If elected as your MP I will work to ensure that our marvellous military and emergency services have all the need to protect us. 

However, only a vote for Theresa May and the Conservatives can secure the strong and stable leadership that we need to back our Armed Forces and keep Britain safe.

We are meeting our NATO defence target, securing our nuclear deterrent for the future, and taking action around the world to keep Britain safe.  But that’s all at risk from Jeremy Corbyn and his policies.  

Jeremy Corbyn would put our nation’s future at risk by failing to back our Armed Forces and scrapping our Trident nuclear defences.   
Only Theresa May and the Conservatives can secure the future of our armed forces.   

We are investing in our armed forces and meeting the NATO 2 per cent target. Britain now has a £36 billion defence budget which will rise to almost £40 billion by 2020/21 – the biggest in Europe and second largest in NATO.

We are taking action around the world to protect the UK – from fighting Daesh in the Middle East to supporting Eastern Europe in the face of Russian aggression. In 2015 our 80,000 troops were deployed on 383 commitments during the year, our 30,000 sailors were deployed on 700 ship visits from Africa to Latin America and 10,000 RAF personnel were deployed in over 60 countries on operations. 

We are committed to renewing Trident – our nuclear deterrent that keeps us all safe and secure.  We will retain the Trident continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile Submarines – securing thousands of highly-skilled engineering jobs in the UK.

We are investing £178 billion over the next decade in the military equipment of the future. Over the next 10 years, £178 billion will be spent on new equipment and support.  This will include spending around £40 billion on submarines, £15.4 billion military on land equipment and £11.1 billion on new helicopters.

A vote for any other party is a vote for Jeremy Corbyn propped up by a coalition of chaos putting our nation’s future at risk  

Jeremy Corbyn wants to dismantle our armed forces and cut our defence spending – putting at risk our national security and cutting thousands of jobs. In 2012 he said: ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world instead of taking pride in the size of their armed forces did what the people of Costa Rica have done and abolished their army’. In addition, he said: ‘I would like us to live in a world where we spend a lot less on defence’.

Jeremy Corbyn would withdraw from NATO, the group of our closest allies who together help make Britain and the world safer. In 2014 Corbyn said: ‘1990 should have been the time for NATO to shut up shop, give up, go home and go away. Why don’t we turn it around, and close down NATO?’ 

Jeremy Corbyn, the Lib Dems and SNP cannot be trusted to keep our country safe – they want to abolish our nuclear deterrent.  Jeremy Corbyn wants to end Britain's nuclear deterrent. ‘I am against the replacement of Trident and the nuclear missile system that goes with it’. Tim Farron called Trident ‘immoral’ and Nicola Sturgeon has appeared with Jeremy Corbyn at rallies attacking Trident. At one such rally, Sturgeon said Britain should be ‘ashamed’ of Trident.

 

On Tackling Islamist extremism and terrorism

Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change – and that is why the Prime Minister has announced four important changes. We will: 

  • Promote British values and defeat Islamist ideology
  • Deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online
  • Stop tolerating and instead seriously tackle extremism in Britain o Review our counter-terrorism strategy and ensure that custodial sentences are long enough for terrorism-related offences 

As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies. 

The four changes we will make to help defeat this evil: 

Promote British values and defeat Islamist ideology. The recent attacks are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence – and make them understand that our values – pluralistic, British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate. 

Deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online. We cannot allow this ideology to use the internet as a safe space. As well as doing everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online, we need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning.  

Stop tolerating and instead seriously tackle extremism in Britain. We will continue to take military action to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but at home there is still far too much tolerance of extremism. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out – across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism – and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom. 

Review our counter-terrorism strategy and ensure that custodial sentences are long enough for terrorism-related offences. Our counter-terrorism strategy has proved successful over many years – but as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, it needs to keep up. We will therefore review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need. If needed, we will also increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, including for apparently less serious offences.      
 

Action we have taken:

 
We have strengthened counter-terrorism powers and are backing our counter-terrorism professionals. We are investing an additional £2.5 billion in security and intelligence agencies, and recruiting and training an extra 1,900 intelligence staff. We have changed the law to give the security and intelligence agencies the powers they need to respond to increased threats, including to disrupt the travel of foreign fighters (including through the TPIM Act 2011, the Justice and Security Act 2013, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, and the Investigatory Powers Act 2016).

We have protected and increased counter-terrorism funding for the police and are increasing the number of armed police officers. We protected counter-terrorism police funding and are now increasing the counter-terrorism budget by £500 million. We are providing £144 million to increase our armed policing capability – and expect to see an increase of 1,500 armed officers.

We have taken action to remove terrorist content from the internet and will do more to protect people online. By working with the CSPs, we have ensured that 270,000 pieces of terrorist material have been taken off the internet since 2010 – meaning fewer people will be radicalised. And as we laid out in our manifesto, we will introduce new safeguards to protect adults and children online. Where technology does not provide solutions, we will introduce new mandatory safeguards to protect people. These protections will be backed up with a statutory sanctions regime, giving regulators the ability to fine or prosecute those companies who fail in their legal duties, and to order the removal of content where it clearly breaches UK law. 

We have strengthened our cyber security capabilities. We have launched our world-leading cyber security strategy and we will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security. We will make sure that our public services, businesses, charities and individual users are protected from cyber risks. We will further strengthen cyber security standards for government and public services, requiring all public services to follow the most up to date cyber security techniques. 

We have excluded hate preachers from Britain and kicked others out of the country. Theresa May excluded more hate preachers than any Home Secretary before her, and Amber Rudd takes the same approach.  In government the Conservatives have deported and extradited notorious extremists including Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, who remained in the country for years, free to spread their messages of hate, under Labour. 

We will establish a Commission for Countering Extremism. The Conservative manifesto sets out how we will establish a Commission for Countering Extremism to identify examples of extremism and expose them, to support the public sector and civil society, and help the government to identify policies to defeat extremism and promote pluralistic values.