Britain commits to NATO 2 percent defense spending target for next 5 years

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 08, 2015 9:02 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will commit to maintaining defense spending at NATO's target of 2 percent of gross domestic product every year for the rest of the decade, finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday.

The British government has repeatedly come under pressure from lawmakers in its own Conservatives, the opposition Labour Party and international military chiefs to commit to the target but had declined to do so beyond the current financial year.

"Today I commit additional resources to the defense and security of the realm," Osborne told parliament during his first post-election budget statement on Wednesday.

"Committing today to meet the NATO pledge to spend 2 percent of our national income on defense. Not just this year, but every year of this decade."

Shares in BAE Systems, Britain's biggest defense contractor, traded up 2.9 percent after the news, making the company one of the top risers on Britain's bluechip index.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison)