BRITAIN needs to increase defence spending by 50 per cent to convince Donald Trump to continue to back Nato, a think-tank said yesterday.
The warning came days ahead of the US President’s visit to Britain followed by a crunch Nato summit in Brussels.
Think-tank Policy Exchange said there is “no viable successor to Nato as guarantor of European security”.
It urged the Government to avoid becoming entangled in EU defence initiatives that threaten to undermine the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Mr Trump has criticised Nato members who fail to meet the alliance target of spending two per cent of gross domestic product on defence, accusing countries such as Germany of relying on the US to bail them out.
Britain, whose defence budget is £37billion a year, is one of the few Nato states to meet the target.
But Mr Trump’s strong criticism of Nato has raised fears that he could pull US troops out of Europe.
The centre-right think-tank said: “The UK cannot be complacent about the continuing existence of Nato: a world without the alliance would be even more fractious and less secure, while giving up on Nato would be ‘whimsical, reckless, selfharming and self-defeating’.”