In an exclusive Express.co.uk poll, up to 90 percent of those surveyed revealed they were worried about the UK military’s defence following news British Royal Navy’s number of frigates and destroyers in service has fallen to just 15. The total number who said this was a major concern to them was 3,550. This is compared to 10 percent who were not worried about reduction in the size of the Navy, amounting to 376 people.
Just 23 clicked the ‘Don’t know’ option.
Data was collected on Monday February 17 from 1.38pm to 7.38pm and saw 3,949 people take part.
Comments widely reflected the result of the poll.
One commenter, referring to Boris Johnson’s quest to finish the HS2 rail project, said: “Never mind about HS2 Boris, get our navy up and running to defend our coasts.
“New ships, built in Britain, by British ship builders.”
A second said: “This is a failure of duty by past Governments going back decades, we can only hope Boris reverses this failure of duty.”
A third said: “And to think we were once a nation with one of the biggest and best ships in the world.”
A fourth comment read: “Don’t worry, the money will be invested in high-speed trains and bridges, and these will keep us safe.”
Another said: “No two words about it, it’s a national disgrace, and those responsible for it should be taken to task, both mod and ministers and PMs in charge at the time.
“They should start making their excuses now, and then apologise to the nation!”
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The new Type 31 frigates won’t come into service until May 2027, four years late.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) Permanent Secretary Stephen Lovegrove let the delay slip in a letter to the Commons Public Accounts Committee last month.
At the same time, the ageing generation of Type 23 frigates are still to be paid off from 2023.
This will leave a major shortfall in the British Navy’s vessels.
The number of frigates is set to fall from 13 to nine by 2027, with the number of Type 45 destroyers remaining at six.
Former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West dubbed the shortfall “a national embarrassment and disgrace”.
The peer had been repeatedly assured by defence ministers that the Type 31s would be delivered on time.
Lord West told The Sun: “Just 15 major service ships will put us into the second tier of the world’s navies.
“Fifteen surface ships means only five on task, as a third will be in maintenance and a third will be training.
“For a great nation like ours, just five frigates on task is a national embarrassment and disgrace.”