NOW that Article 50 has been triggered and we are on course to leave the EU there are many important issues to resolve.

There is speculation more cuts are in the pipeline for our armed services, in particular for the Royal Marines with their capability reduced and the Royal Navy and their flagship HMS Ocean, which may be sold next year.

The world is more dangerous by the minute and with rising tensions in Syria, Russia, the US and North Korea, it is high time that we invest properly in our armed services and with it the defence of the realm and our interests around the world.

As we are to be an independent nation again it is important we prioritise what matters most for our future and that the first priority is defending it.

Philip Griffiths, UKIP North West President.