Cameron welcomes investment in armed forces

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Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has welcomed a commitment by the UK Government to invest £16.5 billion in modernising the armed forces over the next four years.

The announcement, said by the UK Government to create up to 10,000 jobs annually, was hailed as the ‘largest military investment’ in 30 years.

Mr Cameron said: ‘I know that there will be a particularly warm welcome here in the Highlands and Islands for this investment, given that we have such strong traditional links to the Armed Forces.

‘In practical terms this means that there will continue to be many opportunities for young people here to serve in the forces and gain the advanced skills and qualifications which the Army, RAF and Royal Navy provide their recruits.

‘That is very welcome indeed.’

Local Councillor Alastair Redman (Kintyre and the Islands) added: ‘Local people are very pleased by this as we have such a strong military tradition here.

‘It just shows the benefit we derive from being able to contribute to the UK’s armed forces, something I hope will continue to be the case for many generations to come.’

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would announce a new agency dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, the creation of a ‘National Cyber Force’ to protect people from harm and a new ‘Space Command,’ capable of launching a rocket in 2022.

He said: ‘I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first.

‘The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies. To achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.

‘This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our armed forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.’