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:—
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.
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”).
Each annual report must include the following information for the most recent
(a) the amount of defence expenditure by the United Kingdom,
the amount of defence expenditure by the United Kingdom devoted to
major equipment spending, and
the amount mentioned in paragraph (a) as a percentage of the gross
domestic product of the United Kingdom.
The amount of expenditure referred to in section 3(a) shall be categorised
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.
The calculation, definition and categorisation of expenditure referred to in
Sections 3 and 4 shall be subject to audit by the National Audit Office.
In this Act “relevant period” means—
a period of twelve months ending with 31 December in the case of
information which is normally produced by reference to calendar
(b) in any other case a period of twelve months ending with 31 March.
An annual report shall, subject to Section 5, be laid before each House of
Parliament as soon as practicable after 31 March each year.
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.
If 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.
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.
The Secretary of State is accountable in relation to the duties set out in this Act
only through Parliament.
This Act may be cited as the Defence Expenditure (NATO Target) Act 2014.