Report: Reform UK pledge 42% increase in troops, army up to 100,000 - M5 Dergi
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Report: Reform UK pledge 42% increase in troops, army up to 100,000

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Reform UK leader Nigel Farage launched his party’s election manifesto, titled “Our Contract with You,” with a pledge to recruit 30,000 personnel to the British Army, aiming to restore its strength to 100,000 troops.

Speaking at a community centre in South Wales, Farage also advocated for increasing defence spending to 2.5% of GDP, with a goal of reaching 3% as soon as possible.

“I can’t think the world has been in a more perilous place at any point in my lifetime,” he stated, noting that he was born after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Farage criticised the Conservative Party’s idea of reintroducing a form of National Service, instead proposing the recruitment of 30,000 full-time personnel.

“Frankly, this barmy idea of saying ‘we’re going back to National Service’ – ‘Oh no we’re not, all we’re going to do is take 30,000 young people and, at vast expense, give them a year’s training’… Let’s actually recruit 30,000 people full-time to be in the services,” Farage said.

Key Defence Policies from the Reform UK Manifesto

  • Increase Defence Spending: “Increase Defence Spending to 2.5% of National GDP by year 3, then 3% within 6 years. This will increase the size and capacity of our armed forces and ensure our lead role in NATO. It will also improve equipment, quality of life for services personnel and boost morale in military communities.”
  • Urgent Pay Review: “Increase basic pay across our armed forces to boost recruitment and retention. It is unacceptable that a private soldier is paid less than an Amazon worker.”
  • Armed Forces Justice Bill: “Introduce new Armed Forces Justice Bill to protect our servicemen and women on active duty inside and outside the UK from civil law and human rights lawyers. The bill will also create an armed forces watchdog to fast-track complaints and appeals in housing and welfare.”
  • Veterans’ Department: “New, Dedicated Ministerial Department for Veterans. A properly funded and resourced whole department is essential to guarantee no veteran goes without and that our former servicemen and women play a leading role in our society and economy.”
  • Recruitment: “Recruit 30,000 for the army. Military national service for 30,000 young people for one year is not the answer. We need to recruit 30,000 to join the army full time.”
  • Defence Manufacturing and Technology: “Regenerate Britain’s Defence Manufacturing and Technology. Introduce incentives and tax breaks to boost the UK defence industry. Improve equipment self-sufficiency and manufacture world class products for export.”
  • Defence Procurement: “Reform Defence Procurement. Launch a Joint Acquisition Corp to ensure world class procurement. The Ministry of Defence must listen to soldiers on the front line and ensure they get the equipment they need.”
  • Education for Military Personnel: “Education for Military Personnel. Free education both during and after service is vital to ensure a successful return to civilian life.”

Farage positioned Reform UK as a party with clear beliefs, in contrast to what he described as the internal discord within the Conservative Party. He expressed confidence that Reform UK could become a real opposition to a Labour government, asserting that his party knows what it stands for.

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