Cuts are a serious error

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From the Dark Ages onwards successive British Governments have naturally put the defence of the realm as their main priority.

This sorry lot now residing in No 10, however, seem to have placed austerity before security by cutting deep into our military resources.

In these troubled times, when society would expect more protection from modern terrorism, David Cameron has inexplicably reduced our forces to a size where the entire British Army would fit into Wembley Stadium.

The Times newspaper has stated that because of the reductions, the Army could not be involved in serious engagement. The Royal Navy is no longer in possession of maritime patrol aircraft, which are designed to track suspected submarines off British waters.

This state of affairs came about by a Government who, in 2010, scrapped Britain’s Nimrod petrol aircraft as a cost saving measure. Thereafter Britain had to rely on the US, Canada, France and Germany to protect our territorial water on more than 20 occasions last year.

Their NATO planes were called for amid fears Russian submarines were attempting to track Britain’s nuclear deterrent by locating the Royal Navy’s Trident-carrying Vanguard submarines. In an embarrassing U-turn, Downing Street announced a new fleet of planes would be bought in place of the ones they cut. These will not enter service until 2020 and defence experts have pointed out that they are not compatible with RAF mid-air refuelling aircraft. This flaw will drastically reduce their range.

W Quinn