- Mrs Clinton says UK and other allies should contribute a larger share
- Her comments will cause alarm among military commanders in Britain
- She praised Nato as ‘most successful military alliance in human history’
Britain will have to pay more to remain in Nato if Hillary Clinton becomes the US President.
Mrs Clinton, the leading presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, said it was ‘important’ the UK and other allies contributed a larger share towards the military alliance’s costs.
Her comments will cause alarm among military commanders in Britain, where defence spending has been slashed in recent years.
Scroll down for video
Mrs Clinton, the leading presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, said it was ‘important’ the UK and other allies contributed a larger share towards the military alliance’s costs
Speaking during a Democratic candidates debate in New York last night, she said: ‘I support our continuing involvement in Nato.
‘It’s important to ask our Nato allies to pay more of the cost. There’s a requirement that they should be doing so and I believe that needs to be enforced.’
Mrs Clinton stated that Nato has been ‘the most successful military alliance in human history’ but said ‘we need to modernise it and move it into the 21st century.’
She added: ‘Of course they should be paying more but that doesn’t mean if they don’t we leave.’
Nato members are supposed to spend 2 per cent of national income on defence – something Britain only achieved last year because of accountancy tricks, a defence think-tank has warned.
America spent £422billion on defence in 2015, ten times as much as Britain’s £42billion. But Germany only spent £28billion despite having a larger economy than the UK, Nato figures show.
Bernie Sanders (right) launched a fierce attack on Britain and France for leaving the US to pick up the cost of defence in Europe
David Cameron met with the Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg for talks at No 10 Downing Street yesterday
Mrs Clinton’s views on Nato funding were echoed by Bernie Sanders, her rival in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Vermont senator said: ‘The UK has a good National Health Service and they also provide fairly reasonable higher education. I do believe that the countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defence.’
The debate between Mr Sanders and Mrs Clinton came ahead of five crucial primary elections taking place on Tuesday.
Britain is one of the few members of the Nato alliance to meet the minimum target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
David Cameron met Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Downing Street yesterday.
Donald Trump has also raised criticism of the Nato alliance during the on-going US presidential race, blasting it as ‘obsolete and expensive’
But Mr Sanders said: ‘What I believe, if my memory is correct here, we spend about 75 percent of the entire cost of the military aspect of Nato.
‘Given the fact that France has a very good health care system and free public education, the UK has a good National Health Service and they also provide fairly reasonable higher education, I do believe that the countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defence.’
Mr Sanders blasted the US ‘wasting tens of billions of dollars helping to defend Europe’.
The comments below have not been moderated.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Find out now