Britain slashes defence budget by 8 per cent

Britain slashes defence budget by 8 per cent

The Prime Minister told the Commons "the Army will be reduced by 7,000, the Navy by 5,000 and the RAF by another 5,000. Civilian jobs at the Ministry of Defence will drop by 25,000."
Outlining the first defence review since 1998, Cmeron said the cuts would not affect operations in Afghanistan, which are funded from the Treasury's special reserve rather than the MoD.

He said the Royal Navy's flagship aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, which won the Falklands War, will be retired and its fleet of Harrier jets scrapped with immediate effect.
The renewal of Trident will also be delayed by at least five years with a final decision on replacing the submarine-launched nuclear deterrent postponed until after 2015, saving 750 million pounds.

The number of frigates and destroyers will drop from 23 to 19, tanks and heavy artillery will be slashed by 40 per cent and the Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft programme has been cancelled.

"The new measures are not a simply a cost-saving exercise and will herald a step-change in the way we protect this country's security interests," he said.He criticised Labour for leaving a 38 billion pounds "black hole" in the defence budget by over-spending on equipment.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband was greeted with shouts of "apologise" as he stood to condemn the plans as "simply not credible."

Cameron said Britain would still have the fourth largest military in the world after the cuts.
The announcements came ahead of a sweeping programme of wider reductions of up to 25 per cent in most government departments