British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has told the Munich Security Conference that the focus for the UK’s defence spending will be on new technologies that will “revolutionise” modern warfare. The virtual speech was part of a live broadcast set for the day the influential conference should have started.
“If we are to assure our safety, our democracies need to strengthen their capabilities to meet the rigours of an ever more competitive world,” said Johnson. “And it is precisely for that reason, so that we can keep our people safe, by fulfilling our obligations to NATO and enhancing the UK’s global influence, that is the reason I have decided to bolster our armed forces with the biggest increase in our defence budget since the Cold War.
“The UK’s defence spending will rise by £24 billion over the next four years, comfortably exceeding the NATO pledge to invest 2% of GDP and ensuring that we retain the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO, after the United States,” he continued. “We will focus our investment on the new technologies that will revolutionise warfare – artificial intelligence, unmanned aircraft, directed energy weapons and many others – so that we stand alongside our allies to deter any adversary and preserve the peace.”