EXCLUSIVE: 7 years after Putin invaded Crimea, EU underspent on defence by $½ trillion

    "We will remember them" - Remembrance Sunday, 13 November 2022    

The UK exceeded the NATO minimum by $26.3bn in the same period

Montage © Facts4EU.Org

In an exclusive analysis of NATO data, Facts4EU.Org reveals the extent of the EU’s defence failures

In Sunday’s Facts4EU.Org defence special, we have analysed the latest official figures from NATO and can reveal the true extent of the EU’s unwillingness to pay for its own defence.

Since Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsular in early 2014, EU-NATO members have underspent the NATO minimum of 2% of GDP on defence by $581.5m (c. £490bn GBP).

Furthermore, 17 of the 21 EU countries that are also members of NATO are still estimated to be underspending the NATO minimum on defence in 2022 – the year of Putin’s illegal attempted invasion of the whole of Ukraine.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Underspend on defence according to NATO minimum 2% of GDP, 2014 - 2020

In billions of US dollars

  • UK : +$26.3
  • Germany : -$190.2
  • Italy : -$107.0
  • Spain : -$100.4
  • Netherlands : -$46.8
  • Belgium : -$37.8
  • France : -$31.3

[Source : NATO figures, 2014-2020, released 2022.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

Is it any wonder the EU are so keen to drag the UK into its Common Defence Policy?

On Friday we reported on the EU Commission’s delight that the UK Government of Rishi Sunak wishes to sign up to part of its “Permanent Structured Cooperation” (PESCO) common defence programme.

This is due to be ratified at a Council of Ministers meeting this coming week.

Given that the UK is the most powerful spender on its military in Europe, perhaps it is hardly surprising the EU wants the UK to be fully involved in its defence.

The UK is the biggest spender on defence in Europe

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Germany’s economy is around 40% larger but spends less than the UK

Latest official NATO estimates for defence spending in 2022

[Source : NATO estimates for 2022.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

NATO recognises the UK’s contribution, even if the EU never says thank you

On Wednesday (09 Nov 2022) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited No. 10 Downing Street for defence talks with the Prime Minister.

He thanked the United Kingdom for its key contributions to NATO and its strong support to Ukraine, including providing training to close to 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers over the last few years. This started in 2015 and the UK was the first country to step up. The UK continues to be the major provider of military training to President Zelenskyy’s forces.

Jens Stoltenberg went on to praise the UK for leading NATO’s multinational battlegroup in Estonia and for providing aircraft and ships to NATO patrols across the EU.


Over the years Facts4EU.Org has repeatedly drawn readers’ attention to the fact the EU has been woefully deficient in its defence spending, compared to the UK. The latest NATO figures we have analysed above simply reinforce and highlight the EU’s deficiencies even more.

Isn’t it about time the UK leveraged its military power in the EU?

Given that defence has become a major issue in Europe now, and has rapidly (and very belatedly) risen up the EU Commission’s agenda, is it not time the UK extracted concessions from the EU if it still desires the UK’s protection?

We propose that the UK Government tells the EU Commission that if it wishes the full military support of the United Kingdom, given the EU's inability to defend itself, that the Commission now drop its unworkable N.I. Protocol and all its other anti-British stances on a range of issues.

The UK’s military forces have proved themselves to be dependable and tough, every time they have been called upon.

Is it not time for the UK Government to be equally tough with the EU Commission?

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[ Sources: NATO ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Remembrance Day, Sun 13 Nov 2022

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