PROPOSED defence cuts mean that the United Kingdom would struggle to defend Gibraltar, British Army Chiefs have claimed.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has allegedly told Theresa May that the army can function with only 50,000 troops.

If the Prime Minister goes ahead with Hammond’s suggested cuts it will restrict the forces to their smallest number for over two hundred years.

The news comes in the wake of claims from former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, that Gibraltar could be Spanish within four years.

Tory MP and former Army officer Johnny Mercer expressed his shock to the press.

“We couldn’t even fulfil our NATO commitments with 50,000 let alone mount a sustained defence of our nation or its dependent territories,” he said.

“The Army is currently 4,000 short of what it should be, with 78,000 troops.

“Cutting it down by 28,000 would make it the smallest it has been in 220 years and fall short of Germany’s 60,000.”

Senior army figures have stated that a force of that size would struggle to sustain any war for longer than six months.