This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
In Progress
Play a leading role in NATO

We will play a leading role in NATO…

Our Verdict

NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – a military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The United Kingdom was one of the founding members in 1949 and is one of the main contributors. This policy is a promise to play a leading role in NATO, so we’re looking for continued high levels of spending as well as operational leadership activities.

Throughout 2017, the UK maintained the NATO defence spending target of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP).  According to NATO, 2.14% of the UK’s GDP was allocated to defence in 2017. Further, government figures show that in 2018 the UK was one of only five NATO member states to meet the 2% target.

A House of Commons Defence Committee report in June 2018 found that:

“in 2018 the UK will provide 10% of the NATO common funded budgets and programmes (the fourth highest after the US, Germany and France)”

The report also outlined various ways in which the UK has demonstrated operational leadership under this government:

  • hosts two NATO headquarters and NATO exercises
  • commands and contributes to battlegroups
  • takes a leadership role in cyber-warfare
  • is one of three nuclear capable NATO members

It is also notable that a British Army officer serves as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

With evidence of leadership in financial and operational terms, the government is on the way to honouring this manifesto pledge. However, the Defence Committee report sounds a warning:

“…maintaining current levels of support is not enough. The UK must demonstrate an enhanced commitment to the Alliance if we wish to retain a leadership role within NATO”

With that in mind, we’re giving this policy a status of ‘in progress’. We’ll be watching to see if “enhanced commitment” arises and whether the UK maintains its leadership role. Follow this policy for updates.

Want more details?

Related policy

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!