Cole-Hamilton: Britain must be strong and outward-looking to face global challenges

20 Jun 2024
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has set out his party's plans to reverse the Conservative Government's cut to the Army and increase defence spending in every year of the Parliament to promote global security.

He visited the Scottish Emergency Rescue Association (Ukraine) in Edinburgh, an organisation that regularly sends relief supplies to Ukraine, to mark World Refugee Day.

Continued Russian aggression has destabilised the region and has led to thousands of refugees seeking safety and opportunity across Europe, with many welcomed to Scotland.

Mr Cole-Hamilton, who hosted a Ukrainian refugee in his home, committed to increasing defence spending in every year of the Parliament, with an ambition to spend at least 2.5 per cent of GDP.

Liberal Democrats will also reverse the Conservatives’ damaging cuts to the army with a longer-term ambition to increase regular troop numbers back to over 100,000.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

“Keeping our country safe and cooperating with our allies for a safe, free and democratic future is the first duty of any government.

“But this commitment means nothing unless we are willing to put our money and resources behind it.

"The Ukrainian people have stood up to Putin and his gangsters with strength and courage. I am proud to have been sanctioned by the Kremlin for standing up for Ukraine's right to exist.

"Sadly the Conservative party has been negligent in its approach to the defence of the United Kingdom, cutting troop numbers and failing to look after our veterans and service personnel.

“As a key pillar of the NATO alliance, Britain has a responsibility to protect democratic values, help our Ukrainian allies repel Putin's barbarism for good and provide safety for those who have been forced to flee.

"As liberals and internationalists, Scottish Liberal Democrats are proud to stand up for freedom and democracy globally."

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