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LibertarianFebruaryManifesto2018

Defence and the Armed

Defence and the Armed Forces Despite the courage and professionalism demonstrated by the armed forces; the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have been eroded by a severe lack of investment. The Libertarian Party will always support the armed forces, believing they should be ready to face any threat at any time and, if necessary, act independently. When it comes to our national defence, the Conservatives have invested the bare minimum of 2% of GDP. The mainstream parties all believe the same: That you can cut defence spending to the bone yet still maintain an adequate defence. You can’t. We will end cuts to the size of army and will make the investment needed to make our military robust and well equipped. To keep the Citizens of the United Kingdom safe. Clever accounting tricks by the establishment parties mean that the single intelligence account and Trident Programme are included in the defence budget. This allows them to meet the 2% target set by NATO. This has paved the way for cuts to the size of our army. The Libertarian Party will reverse these cuts and increase the size of our army to 100,000 troops. We will also aim to increase the number of reservists to the same figure. In order to be able to properly fund our defence, pay for veteran care and purchase the quality equipment the military deserve, we must be willing to make the investment needed. Therefore, the Libertarian Party will increase MoD annual spending by no less than £18 billion over four years. This represents an annual budget of around 3% of GDP, right where it should be. Our Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are the first line of defence. However, they are woefully under equipped and under manned. Our investment into defence will combat these shortages to ensure Britain can be properly defended from all threats. To this end, we will conduct a defence review and expand both branches where necessary with the goal of ensuring Britain can face any threat, anywhere and at any time. We also pledge to increase the number of Royal Marines, the embodiment of a flexible and effective fighting force. We will overhaul the wasteful defence procurement process. Too many times, equipment and infrastructure procurement has been delayed whilst coming in far over budget. This is unacceptable. We will revise the Armed Forces’ terms of service, to ensure personnel on operational duty overseas do not pay income tax. Likewise, we will commit to demolishing and replacing dilapidated MoD housing stock to allow military families to live in comfort. We will always support an independent continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and the replacement of the Trident Programme. This is an integral component of our defence. We shall launch a review into how to best PAGE 19

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