Prime minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce a £5bn boost to defence spending during a key summit on the US-UK-Australia nuclear submarine deal.
Sunak flew to San Diego on Sunday to attend a trilateral meeting with US president Joe Biden and Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese.
It’s hoped Albanese will announce Australia is purchasing a British designed fleet, according to Sky News.
He told the broadcaster armed forces were “unable to meet the huge threats that are coming over the horizon” and stressed: “The bigger picture is we’re entering a very dark chapter.”
Rishi Sunak said: “By investing in our armed forces for the long-term, we will be ready for the challenges of today and of the future.
“The UK will remain a leading contributor to NATO and a reliable international partner, standing up for our values from Ukraine to the South China Seas.”
The AUKUS deal, agreed in 2021, sees the three nations boost defences and share nuclear secrets, amid rising concern over the threat from China.
Ahead of the announcement Monday, the prime minister confirmed the UK’s updated integrated defence review would be released on Monday.
Known as the IR23, it sets out how the UK will tackle new threats from Russia and China, protect the economy and compete at the cutting edge of technology.
Sunak will also confirm a new long-term military spending ambition of 2.5 per cent of GDP and say the UK will ramp up defence investment with a £5bn boost over the next two years.
The funding will bolster ammunition stocks, modernise the UK’s nuclear enterprise and fund the next phase of the AUKUS programme, following a £24bn four-year uplift in 2020.
Labour’s John Healey said: “This announcement does not deal with capability gaps that weaken our national defence and undermine the UK’s NATO contribution.”
The shadow defence secretary warned: “When 25 other NATO nations have already rebooted defence plans and spending since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Conservatives are still dragging their feet on the big decisions.”