As last year’s successful National Armed Forces Day events demonstrated, Cornwall has many, many strong links with our fantastic armed forces. Last week the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the biggest strengthening of the UK’s national defence in a generation, with a fully funded plan to grow the defence budget to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2030.

With last week’s announcement, UK defence spending will increase immediately.

The Prime Minister has set out three areas of focus to bolstered our defence budget:

• Firing up the UK defence industrial base: Investing at least an additional £10-billion over the next decade on munitions production, delivering high-quality jobs and investment across the UK and ensuring we have rapid production capacity and stockpiles of next-generation munitions.

• Modernising our Armed Forces: Radically reforming defence procurement and creating a new Defence Innovation Agency to ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of modern warfare technology, with at least five per cent of the defence budget to be committed to research and development.

• Backing Ukraine’s defence: Ukraine’s security is our security. As part of this plan, the Government will commit an additional £500-million this year for the ammunition, air defence and drones Ukraine needs; the largest-ever single delivery of military equipment to Ukraine’s frontlines; and a cast-iron commitment to maintain existing levels of support to Ukraine for as long as it Is needed.

Falmouth in particular will benefit from the Prime Minister’s announcement because of its long and enduring relationship with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), a naval auxiliary fleet which provides logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The RFA ensures the Royal Navy is supplied and supported by providing fuel and stores through replenishment at sea, transporting Royal Marines and British Army personnel, providing medical care and transporting equipment and essentials around the world. In addition the RFA acts independently providing humanitarian aid, counter piracy and counter narcotic patrols together with assisting the Royal Navy in preventing conflict and securing international trade.

A&P Falmouth is responsible for maintaining and supporting Argus, HMS Scott, Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay and Cardigan Bay under the terms of the Future In-Service Support contract which runs until 2028, and is a major employer for the town.

As Member of Parliament for Truro and Falmouth I will be doing all I can over the coming months to ensure that Cornwall and our constituency in particular gets its fair share of defence investment, so we can do our bit in ensuring our armed forces continue to be world leading.

As always, I am fully focused on the job at hand and if there is ever anything at all I can do to help, then please do not hesitate to contact me. Please get in touch with me by email at [email protected], or by telephone on 01872 229698. My regular constituency advice surgeries are held at my office, so please do get in touch should you wish to meet me about any matters that I can be of assistance with.