In a leaked 100-page Defence report, the Government has set out its plans to defend British territories with force if required.
In leaked papers, The Telegraph has revealed that the ‘Global Britain In A Competitive Age’ report pledges to use force to deter threats to British territory.
The leak comes as members of the Vox party in Spain called for Gibraltar to be “liberated” from the UK. The report states that the armed forces will be used to “deter and challenge incursions in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters”.
It is reported that Spain regularly sails military vessels into British waters around Gibraltar, which is considered an act of aggression. It was also revealed last year that Spain had attempted a secret lobbying mission to persuade US Senators to support stripping British sovereignty from ‘The Rock’, as it is locally known.
The Armed Forces regularly train in Gibraltar, with the Royal Marines making a special effort to increase their training in the varying environments of Gibraltar.
Furthermore, there will be greater commitments to Mediterranean allies, with further investment and focus on the UK’s Cyprus Base, in order to assist allies and assert a military presence in the region.
Transatlantic commitments are also being reasserted, as Argentina continues to ramp up international and political pressure on the UK about the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. The Prime Minister has previously asserted that these will remain a British territory. An unnamed source stated: “The UK is far from leaving its transatlantic commitments. They are being beefed up and held in high regard.”
To ensure that Britain can keep up with adversaries, such as China which is now listed as the biggest state threat to the UK, the Ministry of Defence will invest £6.6 billion over four years into Research and Development to advance British capabilities on Earth and in space, according to the report.
The Ministry of Defence was keen to emphasise its desire to capitalise on the new area of interest that lies beyond this planet.
The UK is ramping up efforts to become a key player in space, and will, with new research, create an “integrated in-space and ground sensing to track space debris, investigate incidents in space and detect, anticipate and attribute hostile activity”.
The report also reveals the plan to increase the cap on British nuclear warheads, which currently stands at 180 and will rise to no more than 260.