Mr Etheridge added that Britain should lead the way in boosting Nato's military might
Bill Etheridge said other Nato states have “got to” pay in “at least” the required two per cent of GDP into the military alliance – echoing Donald Trump’s calls for a stronger intergovernmental spending between the 28 member states.
Mr Etheridge added that Britain should lead the way in boosting Nato's military might and slammed the current and previous government policies to slash the defence budget.
He told Express.co.uk: “The United Kingdom’s defence spending has been outrageously and irresponsibly cut over decades now, and frankly we are not in any kind of fit state to be an independent, self-sufficient nation."
US President Trump called for a stronger intergovernmental spending between the 28 member states
We have to got increase our defence spending, we have got to do it in a big way. At the moment, it’s a shambles
He added: “We have to got increase our defence spending, we have got to do it in a big way. At the moment, it’s a shambles.”
The West Midlands MEP added that the two per cent target set by Nato was not “even on the radar” of the levels that Britain should be splashing out in defence.
Mr Etheridge said he agreed with President Trump’s criticism of Nato and that other member states must honour the two per cent agreement.
He said: “We have got to make up for all the wasted years. The other Nato countries have to honour their commitments, otherwise President Trump’s correct – there should be a reassessment of Nato.
NATO member states must boost their military spending, Mr Etheridge claimed
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11 things you need to know about NATO
Tue, February 14, 2017
NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4th April 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
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Every member country, no matter how large or small, has an equal say in discussions and decisions. Photo shows: Signing the North Atlantic Treaty which marked the beginning of NATO, 1949.
“We’ve got to lead by example and if those countries want to remain in an alliance with us, they will up their spending as well.”
However the 46-year-old stopped short of calling for better ties with Russia – something Trump has advocated during the presidential campaign trail and since entering the White House.
Mr Etheridge said: “We need to be in a position where we are a little bit too prickly for Putin to mess with, but at the moment we are not there, and we need to be.
“We have some shared aims with ISIS… but I’m not sure how far I’d like to go with a country that frankly has not done much to prove it’s any friend of ours. Things have got to be reconsidered. We need to consider Russia as a potential threat.”