Comments follow warning by MPs that UK must raise spending to maintain US alliance

The UK is “living a lie” about its defence programme, which is unaffordable within current budgets, the former chief of defence staff has said, after a committee of MPs said Britain must raise spending in order to maintain its relationship with the US.

Lord Gen Nick Houghton, who was chief of defence staff until 2016, said the government had to make a tough choice between losing its global standing as a leading defence nation or increasing spending on defence.

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