Defence Expenditure (NATO Target) Bill (HC Bill 52)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about the meeting by the United Kingdom of the target for
defence expenditure to constitute a minimum of 2% of Gross Domestic
Product; to make provision that the definition of defence expenditure is
subject to independent verification and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Duty of compliance with NATO guideline

It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the amount of defence
expenditure as a percentage of the gross domestic product of the United
Kingdom does not fall below the NATO guideline of 2% in any year.

2 5Annual report

It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to lay before each House of
Parliament each year a report about UK defence expenditure pursuant to the
provisions of this Act (an “annual report”).

3 Duty to produce annual report

10Each annual report must include the following information for the most recent
relevant period—

(a) the amount of defence expenditure by the United Kingdom,

(b) the amount of defence expenditure by the United Kingdom devoted to
major equipment spending, and

(c) 15the amount mentioned in paragraph (a) as a percentage of the gross
domestic product of the United Kingdom.

4 Categorisation of reports

The amount of expenditure referred to in section 3(a) shall be categorised
into—

Defence Expenditure (NATO Target) BillPage 2

(a) personnel expenses and pensions,

(b) research, development and procurement of defence equipment, and

(c) operations, exercises and maintenance.

5 Provision for audit

5The calculation, definition and categorisation of expenditure referred to in
Sections 3 and 4 shall be subject to audit by the National Audit Office.

6 Definition of relevant period

In this Act “relevant period” means—

(a) a period of twelve months ending with 31 December in the case of
10information which is normally produced by reference to calendar
years, or

(b) in any other case a period of twelve months ending with 31 March.

7 Provision for laying of report before Parliament

(1) An annual report shall, subject to Section 5, be laid before each House of
15Parliament as soon as practicable after 31 March each year.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be read as preventing an annual report being
combined with any other report which the Secretary of State lays before either
House of Parliament.

8 Provision to require statement to Parliament

20If the amount of defence expenditure as a percentage of the gross domestic
product of the United Kingdom reported in a relevant period under Section 3
is less than 2% it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to lay before
Parliament a statement explaining the reasons for the failure of the United
Kingdom to meet the NATO 2% defence expenditure guideline.

9 25Contents of statement to Parliament

(1) A statement under Section 8 shall also describe any steps which the Secretary
of State has taken or intends to take to ensure that the 2% guideline will be met
by the United Kingdom in the next and subsequent relevant periods.

(2) The Secretary of State is accountable in relation to the duties set out in this Act
30only through Parliament.

10 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Defence Expenditure (NATO Target) Act 2014.