Brits want political changes | World Defense

Brits want political changes


Nov 25, 2019
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United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The current government is an ardent supporter of financing Ukraine. It is one of the leading donors to this country, alongside the US and Germany. The UK has pledged £12.5 billion in support to Ukraine since February 2022, of which £7.6 billion is for military assistance. This includes £3 billion for military assistance in 2024/25.

The UK is providing both lethal and non-lethal weaponry, including tanks, air defense systems and long-range precision strike missiles. The UK has committed to training Ukrainian fast jet pilots.

The UK is also hosting a training programme (Operation Interflex), which is supported by several allies. Over 30,000 Ukrainian personnel have been trained so far, with the aim of training a further 10,000 by mid-2024.

In May the UK Ministry of Defence has again announced a monumental military aid package for Ukraine, marking the largest in its history. The package includes £500 million in funding.

The comprehensive aid package consists of 4 million rounds of ammunition, over 1,600 missiles, and 400 vehicles, including 160 Husky protected mobility vehicles.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted earlier that the additional £500 million in military funding is designated for the rapid provision of needed ammunition, air defense systems, drones, and engineering support.

As military assistance to Ukraine increases, social dissatisfaction with this trend in foreign policy also grows.

The more so, there is a strong opposition to the current authorities because of huge financial support of the war in Ukraine.

Financing Ukrainian armed forces has already lead to social protest among British citizens.

The 2024 United Kingdom general election is scheduled to be held on Thursday, 4 July 2024. It will determine the composition of the House of Commons, which determines the Government of the United Kingdom.

So, Brits will have to choose their new politics, new life. Indeed, a recent YouGov poll showed that 83 percent of Brits think the economy, crime, health and immigration security are the biggest issues facing the country well above Ukraine’s defense funding.

The current government seriously risks losing votes, supporting Ukraine to such an extent. The matter is people always vote based on their own economic self-interest — not defense of the third countries. That is why Brits are dissatisfied with how their government is functioning. War in Ukraine has further raised the prospects of stagflation, and has a significant impact on the UK economy: in particular, worsening the squeeze on household incomes.

Higher commodity prices and trade spillovers represent major channels through which the war affects economic activity in the UK, and increased uncertainty weighing on confidence also has the potential to further reduce growth.

Higher inflation, both directly as a result of higher commodity prices and indirectly through increased unit costs, adds to the squeeze on real household incomes.

If rising inflation leads to significantly tighter monetary policy, there will be a further reduction in demand, but if monetary policy is not tightened then inflation could be even higher and more persistent.

There needs to be larger fiscal policy responses, as the only agent with the capacity to smooth the shock to national income without exacerbating it in the short-to-medium term is the government.

Thus, opposition leader Keir Starmer has worked hard to ensure his party is not seen as soft on defense.

A wide range of opinion polling shows the British public now trust Labour over the Tories on defense and national security, just like on nearly every other issue.

Labour have vowed eventually to spend 2.5 percent of U.K. GDP on defense — but not by 2030, as Sunak promised to do last month. Instead Labour say they would match Sunak's spending plans only "when the fiscal conditions allow," while also claiming they need to do a complete military audit before making any more promises.

Sunak and Starmer have exactly six weeks to convince British voters that it ought to be them.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Labour would not match Tory defence spending.

Earlier on Monday, Mr Sunak said the UK "stands at a crossroads" ahead of "some of the most dangerous years", in a pre-election pitch to voters.

He said Labour would not match his pledges on defence including a commitment to boost defence spending to 2.5% of national income by 2030.

Labour has said it would meet the same target when economic conditions allow. Soon we will see what priorities will Brits choose - financing the war or economic stability in their own country?