Fraser Nelson

Five main points from Michael Fallon’s hawkish interview in The Spectator

Five main points from Michael Fallon’s hawkish interview in The Spectator
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James Forsyth interviews Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in this week's Spectator. You can read the full interview here. Here are five key points from the piece:

1. A ‘new Battle of Britain': 

‘We’ve had attacks on the streets of London, on our transport system, at Glasgow Airport, the murder of Lee Rigby – how much more evidence do you need that this is a very clear and dangerous threat to our way of life and to all the democracies of the west.  This is a new Battle of Britain.’

2. MPs need ‘courage’ to vote for military intervention:  

‘I hope parliament now will have the courage shown by our armed forces already, will have the mental strength you saw at the Invictus Games, to take on this challenge but we’ll see.’

3. After Iraq, Syria:

‘The government of Iraq is also entitled to argue that it is under attack from ISIL forces in Syria or coming from Syria… Iraq is under attack not just from terrorists inside its own borders but it is under attack from terrorists in the north of Syria and if Syria continues to be unwilling or unable to deal with ISIL then at least the question arises as to whether we shouldn’t assist Iraq in doing so.’

4. Merging the aid and defence budgets: 

‘The biggest problem we are facing now, in Libya, in Liberia, even in Nigeria where they have lost control of the northern province, in Sudan, in Yemen, right across these countries is that these states are starting to fail and that’s where in the end—sadly—you end up having to intervene with armed force.  So these aren’t opposites.  Justine Greening’s budget and mine you should add together, they are security budgets.’

5. Britain is booming: 

‘Britain is trusted again, the economy is booming, unemployment falls and falls in my constituency and with a lot of reform as well.  Mrs Thatcher never reformed the welfare state or secured as much educational choice as we’ve done in just four years. She didn’t do that in eleven years.'

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

Topics in this articlePoliticsiraqisissyria