Debates between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Baroness Goldie during the 2019 Parliament

Afghanistan

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Baroness Goldie
Wednesday 21st April 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie (Con)
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The noble Baroness makes a very important point. I have paid tribute before and do so again to her enduring interest in this issue. The relocations and assistance policy, which as she knows was updated last year and launched at the beginning of this month, is open to all our current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan, irrespective of date, role or length of service. As she is aware, they must satisfy certain criteria, but it is important that any of these staff feeling anxious should contact the embassy in Kabul however they can. I also assure her that eligible locally employed staff can bring certain family members with them to the UK.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, I salute the efforts of our Armed Forces and of those development and humanitarian workers who have been injured or have lost their lives doing dangerous work in Afghanistan over these past 20 years. That work will become even more vital as NATO troops leave the country. How then can the Government justify the reduction in overseas development assistance? By how much will programmes in Afghanistan be cut and what analysis has been carried out to support the decision to reduce such programmes at this critical time?

Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his welcome tribute to humanitarian relief workers, who have indeed made huge sacrifices. I am sure that the Chamber would absolutely endorse his remarks. As I indicated earlier, what is currently happening in Afghanistan is predicated on a wider NATO allies and partners collaboration to assess the situation and to look to the future. We are committed to continuing to work together in NATO to support Afghanistan during and beyond withdrawal. The noble Lord is correct that much of the UK’s support for sustaining the Afghan national security forces is provided as ODA. Ministers are currently finalising the allocation of ODA for 2021-22, so decisions on individual budget allocations have not yet been taken. I think that he will acknowledge that much excellent work has been achieved by the United Kingdom in concert with our other NATO partners.

Covid-19: Military Operations and Support

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Baroness Goldie
Thursday 10th September 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie (Con)
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I can reassure my noble friend that the safety and welfare of our people are paramount. Measures are in place to safeguard them and to reduce the risk to both them and their families. While workplaces have been adjusted to meet Covid-19 guidance, all personnel who have been eligible for testing if displaying symptoms have been tested, and we have followed public health guidance throughout. I can reassure my noble friend about the continuance of operations. There has been a steady drumbeat of activity on land, sea and air.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, have the Government, through the Ministry of Defence or the National Security Council, conducted any analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on conflict and tension in the most important conflict spots around the world? Will that analysis, if it exists, be included in the integrated review on security, defence, development and foreign policy that the Government are due to publish in October?

Baroness Goldie Portrait Baroness Goldie (Con)
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Because of Covid-19, now more than ever we must be mindful of the long-term consequences of the decisions we take and of how the crisis could shift the context in which we operate domestically and internationally. The review will still be radical in its reassessment of the nation’s place in the world, and that will include accounting for the implications of Covid-19.