Defence secretary Ben Wallace is understood to have asked the prime minister for an increase in the defence budget from around 2 to 2.5 per cent of GDP – the equivalent of an additional 20 per cent per year.
The call came as the head of the British Army warned that Britain and its Nato allies are facing a “1937 moment” and must be “unequivocally prepared to fight” if Russia attacks any of their territory.
In a speech in London, chief of general staff General Sir Patrick Sanders said that Russia was likely to emerge from the Ukraine war as an even greater threat to European security and the West must be ready to “meet strength with strength”.
But asked whether the UK was preparing for war with Russia, Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t think it will come to that. We’re working very hard to make sure that we confine this to Ukraine.”