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The Government's most urgent task is to return our nation's finances to a sustainable footing. But we also have to ensure our national security and replace the mismanagement and strategic drift of recent years with the establishment of a distinctive British role in the world.
While British forces are fighting in Afghanistan for the ninth year in a row, defence spending has been left on a precipice. We inherited a defence budget with a black hole of £38 billion – unfunded liabilities amounting to more than we spend on defence each year as a nation, a shortfall of £10 million each and every day over the next decade.