Kevan Jones spoke last Thursday in a Westminster Hall debate on a Defence Select Committee report into maritime surveillance. The debate highlighted the number of important capability gaps created by this Government’s rushed and flawed Strategic Defence and Security Review, which prioritised cuts over national security.

Kevan said:

“The report covers an important issue that many Members have talked about today. As the Chairman and others have argued, the threats are wide. We are a maritime nation, and we depend on open sea lanes for trade and security.

“A maritime surveillance capability […] is vital to ensuring that we know the location of threats to our independent nuclear deterrent. From personal experience, I know the importance that the Ministry of Defence places on ensuring that any threats to our independent nuclear deterrent and our nation are taken very seriously.

“The weakness of the current situation is that the Secretary of State claims to have balanced the budget but, so far as I can see, that refers only to the equipment budget, rather than the remaining 55%. If he has been so good at plugging a £38 billion black hole within months, he and his predecessor, who made the same claim, should not be in the Ministry of Defence, but in the Treasury. We need some honesty.”

The full debate can be read here: