HC Deb 03 May 1983 vol 42 cc36-7W
Mr. Churchill

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the average percentage of gross domestic product presently allocated to defence by the European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation other than the United Kingdom; and by how much the equivalent figure for the United Kingdom's defence expenditure exceeds the European average, in both percentage and cash terms.

Mr. Blaker

On average, European members of NATO, excluding the United Kingdom, devoted 3.5 per cent. of gross domestic product to defence in 1982; the equivalent figure for the United Kingdom was 5.1 per cent. Employing this form of measurement, the United Kingdom's defence expenditure in 1982 — £13,849 million on the NATO definition—exceeded the average for its European NATO allies by 1.6 per cent. of GDP, approximately £4,300 million.

Note: These figures, which relate to calendar year 1982, are provisional and are based on the NATO definition of defence expenditure. They exclude Spain, for which data are not available and Iceland, whose defence spending is negligible.