Will Labour commit to 2% of GDP on defence?

Originally published on LabourList 17/02/2015.

Labour activists don’t knock doors on a Saturday morning to argue for more money for bombs. No party does because voters don’t care that much about defence spending.

The UK’s role in the world is often a low priority for the electorate, rarely are votes gained or lost over a foreign policy decision. War may seem like the exception to this rule, but even the unpopular UK involvement in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein didn’t result in a change of government in 2005.

This isn’t going to be any different in 2015. Labour will rightly fight this election on living standards and the NHS. Some in Labour may feel uneasy about spending money on the military in tough financial times. However, we should commit to retaining NATO’s standard of spending 2% of our GDP on defence...

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