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UK government set to increase its military budget by more than £1b

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A convoy of Jackal vehicles with the British Army's 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards move to begin a multinational training event for exercise Puma 2 with Battle Group Poland at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

The UK government is set to increase its military spending by more than 1 billion pounds to avoid a real-terms cut over the next two years and to help Ukraine with more military armaments, the Telegraph newspaper has revealed.

According to the Telegraph’s damning report, published on Saturday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce the increase in his budget in the spring.

Military experts estimate that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) budget in 2024/25 must rise to 50.1 billion pounds from 48.6 billion, to cope with the simmering inflation, which reached a 41-year high of 11.1 percent in October.

In his autumn budget last month, Hunt confirmed it would maintain the military budget at 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in line with its commitment to transatlantic alliance NATO.

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"We have one of the largest defense budgets in Europe and in 2020 we announced the biggest increase to defense spending since the Cold War," a government spokesperson told Reuters, referring to former PM Boris Johnson’s program of investment in British defense in the early period of his premiership.

He also added that any increases to defense spending will be considered as part of the next integrated review, a document laying out Britain's defense, security and foreign policy priorities.

The conservative government’s new decision reflects the pressure from Tory backbenchers and military chiefs, who have been seeking an increase in the defense spending to overfill Ukraine with more lethal arms.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the UK has helped Kiev with a raft of armaments and military equipment, fanning the flames of war in Ukraine and emptying its military warehouse at the same time.

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