HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 c183W
14. Sir Fergus Montgomery

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the importance to the deterrent capability of United Kingdom forces of spending above the European average. [18048]

Mr. Portillo

A reduction in UK defence expenditure to the current NATO European average would involve cuts of around £5 billion per year. This would have a devastating effect on the capability of our armed forces and on their ability to deter aggression.