Is the Green Party happy for the UK to maintain the fifth largest military budget in the world?

Is the Green Party happy for the UK to maintain the fifth largest military budget in the world?
by Ian Sinclair
12 March 2015

The UK currently has the fifth largest military budget in the world.

Below is what Darren Hall, the Green Party of England and Wales parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, said about UK military spending on the Today Programme this morning.

James Naughtie, presenter: “Darren Hall, just summarise your position on defence spending from a Green Party perspective.”

Darren Hall, the Green Party of England and Wales parliamentary candidate for Bristol West: “Well, it might surprise people to know the Green Party has no plans to make further cuts to the defence spending over and above that that has been set out by the Coalition Government. Other than, of course, our well understood position on Trident. Defence is a primary role of government and it’s incredibly important we are able to play a full and proper role in a Europe-wide capability that can resist attacks here and abroad.”

James Naughtie: “So just in round figures, the £40 billion defence budget is one that you, if you had significant representation in the House of Commons, wouldn’t vote against?”

Darren Hall: “As I said, we have a long term view that we need to move to a more diplomatic solutions. I think the cuts to the Foreign Office are difficult. But in the short-term we have no plans to go beyond the cuts that the Coalition Government has set out.”

James Naughtie: “So it’s the anti-renewal of Trident in the way, in the form it’s been proposed but a defence budget that is roughly in keeping. Bob Stewart, does that surprise you, from the Green Party?”

Colonel Bob Stewart, Conservative MP: “I’m delighted to hear the Greens saying that. Congratulations the Green Party. That is exactly – I’m very happy to hear it.”

Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 12 March 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054t3s0 (1 hour, 19 minutes in)

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