Rising defence costs mean Army can only protect nation from 9am-5pm on weekdays

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Spiralling operational costs of an extra £700 million a year for the Ministry of Defence has forced the Army to cut its working hours to more manageable levels.

For the foreseeable future, soldiers will only be available to guard the UK against invading forces from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.

MoD spokesman Simon Williams stressed citizens shouldn’t be alarmed, and the ministry was putting in place a series of measures to protect the nation during the hours of darkness and at weekends.

“Our first thought was to outsource military responsibilities to locum mercenaries,” said Mr Williams.

“Unfortunately, when we made enquiries as to who might be interested in providing such a service, we only had responses from armies in China and Russia.”

To solve the problem of no soldiers at night and weekends, the MoD is investing in a sophisticated CCTV system which will run all along the coastline and capture evidence of any invasion.

“When our staff log on at 9am all they have to do is view the filmed footage. Then we’ll know instantly which dictatorship is now ruling us,” Mr Williams said.

Amongst other cost-cutting actions, the RAF is bringing a squadron of Sopwith Camels back into service and the Royal Navy’s next generation of ships will be commandeered from a boating lake.

However, Mr Williams added the new measures would also produce a welcome financial windfall for the MoD.

“Because soldiers now only work 9am-5pm we can cancel an order for new night vision goggles.

“And the goggles we already have can be flogged on eBay.”