Defence expenditure

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on defence expenditure. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

12.09.2014NATO Wales Summit 2014: outcomes
The 2014 NATO Wales Summit discussed Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, defence spending amongst allies and the end of combat operations in Afghanistan.
10.05.2013In brief: Outsourcing defence procurement
The Defence Reform Bill will allow the Government to proceed with its plans to change the way defence equipment is procured.
08.01.2013Defence expenditure: Social Indicators page
Defence expenditure: Social Indicators page. By Gavin Berman. SN/SG/2623.
01.10.2012The cost of international military operations by the UK (2001-2013)
This note provides a summary of the estimated and actual costs of international military operations conducted by the UK in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The paper includes information on Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) as well as comparisons with US expenditure. Comprehensive analysis of policy developments concerning Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya can be found on the associated Topic pages.
08.02.2012The Defence of the Falkland Islands
This note looks at the UK defence presence in the Falkland Islands and reviews the current debate about whether the Islands are adequately defended in the event of future aggression.

Research Papers

03.09.2014Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
11.07.2013Defence Reform Bill
The Defence Reform Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 3 July 2013. Second Reading has been tabled for 16 July 2013.
12.02.2008China's Military Posture
17.09.2004Defence White Paper:future capabilities
The Defence White Paper: future capabilities. House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/72.
19.07.2002Defence Statistics - July 2002
Defence Statistics - July 2002. House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/48.

Select Committee Reports

13.09.2011The performance of the Ministry of Defence 2009-10.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]
15.02.2011The major projects report 2010.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
08.12.2010Managing the defence budget.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
08.12.2009MoD winter supplementary estimate 2009-10.
Defence Select Committee report [Commons]
27.10.2009Ministry of Defence Main Estimates 2009-10.
Government response. Ministry of Defence; Defence Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House expresses profound concern at the proposed appointment of a commercial management company to partner Defence Business Services; believes that allowing a private sector ...
That this House strongly condemns the Government plans to order the steel for the first new Trident replacement submarine before any formal decision is made on whether to go ahead with ...
That this House welcomes the announcement of a reduction in operational warheads from 160 to 120 in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and a delay in the Main Gate decision ...
That this House welcomes the Government's intention to hold a strategic defence and security review; notes with concern the stated intention to conduct it without giving due consideration ...
That this House notes that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, right hon. Lord Mandelson, told the North West Evening Mail newspaper on 23 January 2010 of the ...

Lords Library Notes

06.12.2013Defence Reform Bill
This Note provides background information on the Defence Reform Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 December 2013.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses