'You're Sounding Slightly Trumpish': Trevor Phillips Accuses Grant Shapps Of Aping Ex-President

Grant Shapps has been compared to Donald Trump after he said some Nato members were not spending enough on defence.

The defence secretary told Sky News that western nations were in “an existential battle” with autocratic states like Russia and needed to massively boost the amount of money they spend on the military.

He said: “Everyone should play their part and pay their part.”

His comments echo those of the former US president, who has repeatedly said that some Nato countries do not spend enough on defence.

Referring to the war in Ukraine, Shapps told Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: “We have to understand we are in an existential battle about the way that we run the world order, about democracy itself.

“It’s bad enough that people in autocratic states have to put up with having no say at all in the way their country is run and the way they have to live their lives, but it’s quite another when they try and impose it on free and democratic countries. As free countries, we have to stand up to that.”

Asked by Phillips “who is not pulling their weight”, Shapps replied: “We’re living in a more dangerous world than we were 10/15 years ago and it’s really important, therefore, that we lift our ability to defend ourselves.

“That’s why this government is committed to [spending 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030] and I want to see other European countries do the same.”

He added: “We set a Nato minimum of 2% 10 years ago to be met this year. We’ve now raised that to 2.5%, but meantime only two-thirds of Nato countries have got to the 2%.

“What about those countries who enjoy the umbrella of European security but aren’t even part of Nato, who aren’t even contributing?”

Phillips told him: “I don’t want to put you off, but you’re sounding slightly Trumpish here.”

Shapps said: “I think everyone should play their part and pay their part, that is certainly true, because in the end if you’re in a country that does not spend on your own defence but enjoy the overall umbrella of a security apparatus then you enjoy the benefits but you’re not paying in.

“In this more dangerous world, I think everybody does need to pay.”