US President Barack Obama has expressed his wish that David Cameron review Britain’s commitment to meeting the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defence in the wake of George Osborne’s demand for a further £500m in cuts from the armed forces last week. Looking at the current Conservative Party’s financial plan reveals that Mr Cameron has not yet committed to meeting the required 2% beyond March 2016.
David Cameron has reiterated that no final decision has been made pending;
“Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review in the autumn.”
Speaking in Germany at the G7 conference President Obama also confirmed that he wished for Britain to remain part of the European Union; a question that has divided UK politics in recent years with the Conservative Party proving especially torn on the subject. The party suffered several high profile defections to the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the months leading up to the recent general election.
Barack Obama has been quite vocal in both his opposition against the UK breaking away from Europe as well as Scotland breaking away from the UK. The US President is no doubt concerned that if the UK did leave the European Union then it would weaken Europe which may turn to the US for help. It could also threaten the harmony of European defence which is especially concerning given the situation in the Ukraine and increased Russian military activity.
On the other hand proponents of the UK breaking away have argued that it would relieve much of the pressure Europe puts on the UK economy and open up more markets in Asia and Latin America for British businesses. It would also force increased defence spending and investment in UK defence.
The next few years will see the British people having to seriously consider their position in the future.