Today in the House of Commons, Gareth Davies MP gave a speech outlining the importance of updating our Armed Forces to meet the ever changing and uncertain world we live in. He also took time to praise the service of reservists and all those organisations in Lincolnshire who have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. Can read a transcript of his speech below.
"Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker.
We live in an uncertain world and given this uncertainty, it is vital we have a strong military.
That’s why it was so critical that in November, the Prime Minister announced the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the Cold War.
So much has changed since the end of that Cold War, not least the fact that the threat from our adversaries is no longer confined to the traditional battlefield, but now exists throughout our digital network too.
Just as the threat has evolved, so too must our capabilities for protecting our citizens.
That is why the creation of a National Cyber Force and a new Space Command are no longer optional, for example.
And why evolving our capability has also seen the growing importance of our Reservists to our national defence.
I am pleased that this Bill allows for flexible working for our over 35,000 Reserve personnel, allowing Reservists like those
who are trained at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham in my constituency, the opportunity to serve on a full-time or part-time basis.
Making up one sixth of our armed forces personnel, Reservists bring:
- specialist outside knowledge
- expertise and;
- experience that enriches our military capability.
Whether Regular or Reservist, we should praise everyone who serves our country in uniform.
But praise is not enough. We must ensure that no veteran, or any of their family face unfair obstacles or discrimination as they enter civilian life after service.
This is why the Armed Forces Covenant has been so important over the past 10 years.
And I look back with pride that my home county of Lincolnshire has played a prominent part in its success so far.
All of our local authorities are signatories.
And South Kesteven District Council has gone further by appointing a dedicated Armed Forces Champion in Councillor Dean Ward, who is himself a veteran.
We also have a wide range of other local organisations who have signed the Covenant such as:
- Grantham College
- RecruitME, and
- Stamford Endowed Schools
Madam Deputy Speaker,
I am confident that with this Bill, and this Government, our nation is in safe hands as we seek to protect our country, enhance our capabilities and honour those who have served this United Kingdom."