Andrew Rosindell Written Questions

Questions to Ministry of Defence tabled by Andrew Rosindell


Date Title Questioner
29 Jul 2019, 9:10 a.m. Mali: Peacekeeping Operations Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which units of the British Army will be deployed to Mali on peacekeeping operations in the first troop rotation.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Ministry of Defence is currently evaluating what unit and assets are best suited to the task required by the United Nation. This will be finalised in due course, prior to deployment in 2020. Further information can be found in the written statement made by the then Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt) on 22 July 2019, (HCWS1779).

29 Jul 2019, 9:08 a.m. Military Aircraft Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of developing hypersonic propulsion systems for military aircraft.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The next generation acquisition programme will deliver the capability required when Typhoon leaves RAF service. As part of the concept phase, a variety of concepts to deliver the required capability are being considered. These will include hypersonic weapon concepts as part of the next generation combat air system.

29 Jul 2019, 9:05 a.m. Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the benefits of training F35 pilots in (a) the UK and (b) the US.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK took the opportunity to embed personnel with the US Marine Corps and jointly develop the operational capability of the F35-B Lightning aircraft. By taking this collaborative approach, the UK has been able to train its personnel in advance of establishing our own Lightning footprint in the UK.

In July this year, personnel returned from the US to establish the Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Marham to enable the UK to conduct its own training.

The UK continues to work closely with its allies to develop the F-35 programme to ensure freedom of action having initially exploited this collaborative route to training.

26 Jul 2019, 7:57 a.m. Pakistan: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security co-operation with Pakistan.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK has strong ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which we value and reinforce through regular defence engagement, exercises and training courses.

The Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary visited Islamabad in March 2019 for the annual Defence Cooperation Forum with Pakistan and regular dialogue continues at senior military level. The Pakistan National Defence University visited the UK earlier this year. Bangladesh also held a National Defence College visit.

Defence relations with Sri Lanka were significantly strengthened in 2019 by the appointment of a resident Defence Adviser.

HMS Dragon visited Karachi in February 2019 as part of Exercise AMAN, in which Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also involved. HMS Montrose visited Colombo in April 2019 as part of her deployment in the Indian Ocean and conducted a short exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy.

In addition to bespoke training programmes, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cadets are attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2018-19, and there are members of the Royal College of Defence Studies from all three countries.

26 Jul 2019, 7:57 a.m. Sri Lanka: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security cooperation with Sri Lanka.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK has strong ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which we value and reinforce through regular defence engagement, exercises and training courses.

The Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary visited Islamabad in March 2019 for the annual Defence Cooperation Forum with Pakistan and regular dialogue continues at senior military level. The Pakistan National Defence University visited the UK earlier this year. Bangladesh also held a National Defence College visit.

Defence relations with Sri Lanka were significantly strengthened in 2019 by the appointment of a resident Defence Adviser.

HMS Dragon visited Karachi in February 2019 as part of Exercise AMAN, in which Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also involved. HMS Montrose visited Colombo in April 2019 as part of her deployment in the Indian Ocean and conducted a short exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy.

In addition to bespoke training programmes, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cadets are attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2018-19, and there are members of the Royal College of Defence Studies from all three countries.

26 Jul 2019, 7:57 a.m. Bangladesh: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps she has taken to strengthen defence and security cooperation with Bangladesh.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK has strong ties with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which we value and reinforce through regular defence engagement, exercises and training courses.

The Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary visited Islamabad in March 2019 for the annual Defence Cooperation Forum with Pakistan and regular dialogue continues at senior military level. The Pakistan National Defence University visited the UK earlier this year. Bangladesh also held a National Defence College visit.

Defence relations with Sri Lanka were significantly strengthened in 2019 by the appointment of a resident Defence Adviser.

HMS Dragon visited Karachi in February 2019 as part of Exercise AMAN, in which Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also involved. HMS Montrose visited Colombo in April 2019 as part of her deployment in the Indian Ocean and conducted a short exercise with the Sri Lankan Navy.

In addition to bespoke training programmes, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cadets are attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2018-19, and there are members of the Royal College of Defence Studies from all three countries.

25 Jul 2019, 8:27 a.m. Warships: Deployment Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when (a) HMS Dauntless and (b) HMS Daring will next be put to sea.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

Both HMS DAUNTLESS and HMS DARING are in planned deep maintenance periods. I am withholding information on their future programmes as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

24 Jul 2019, 9:54 a.m. Ascension Island: Airports Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made in the resurfacing of the runway on Ascension Island.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The US Air Force Civil Engineering Centre are expecting tender returns in August 2019 from which the contract will be awarded in the final quarter of 2019.

24 Jul 2019, 9:53 a.m. Falkland Islands: Armed Forces Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to increase the armed forces presence in the Falkland Islands.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

There is currently no plan to increase the Armed Forces presence in the Falkland Islands.

24 Jul 2019, 9:53 a.m. Gibraltar: Armed Forces Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to increase the armed forces presence in Gibraltar.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

There is currently no plan to increase the Armed Forces presence in Gibraltar.

16 Jul 2019, 3:15 p.m. Military Exercises Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for the conclusion of Operation Sea Breeze.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Exercise SEA BREEZE concluded on 12 July 2019.

16 Jul 2019, 3:13 p.m. Marines: Guided Weapons Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Royal Marines will be ready to use the Lightweight Multirole Missile against drones.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

On current plans the Royal Marines will declare initial NATO compliant operating capability for the Lightweight Multirole Missile in early 2021.

16 Jul 2019, 3:06 p.m. Estonia: Military Exercises Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force demonstrations her Department plans to conduct in Estonia in the next two years.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK led Joint Expeditionary Force provides, through collaboration with the partnering nations, an increased profile and presence in the Baltic Sea and High North region across multiple domains. Both operationally and through collective training, the UK's engagement in the coming years will be characterised by smaller scale, but more frequent activities in co-operation with all regional partners, of which Estonia is an important member. The opportunities and frequency of participation by Estonia is being reviewed through regular consultations at both the political and military level.

16 Jul 2019, 3:05 p.m. Army Reserve: Training Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to increase the integration of Army Reserve units in training exercises.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Army continues to integrate the Army Reserve into the Army and Defence training exercise programme in both participating and supporting roles. The Army Reserve is involved in all of the Army's collective training exercises. All reserve overseas training exercises have an element of Regular Army participation.

16 Jul 2019, 3:04 p.m. Army Reserve: Training Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what funding her Department plans to provide for Reserve Army training in each of the next five financial years.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Army has budgeted over £100 million for Army Reserve training for the current financial year. This covers Army Reserve Units only and does not include training for Reservists in staff roles in Brigade or Army HQ which would be picked up by the parent unit. The Reserve training budget provides for activity such as classroom-based lessons, physical training, trade training and field exercises. Future budget allocations will be made through our normal financial planning process.

9 Jul 2019, 3:14 p.m. Defence: Finance Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether she has plans to increase defence spending in the next three years.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Future spending plans will be agreed at the next Spending Review.

The first duty of any Government is the safety and security of the British people at home and abroad. That is why we have committed to spending at least 2% of our GDP on Defence every year of this Parliament.

9 Jul 2019, 3:13 p.m. Apache AH-64 Helicopters: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when her Department plans to complete its order for all 50 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The order for all 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters was placed with the US Government in June 2016 and deliveries are planned to be complete by early 2024. The US Government manages the timing of subcontracts to support the required aircraft delivery schedule.

8 Jul 2019, 4:33 p.m. NATO: Military Exercises Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for the conclusion of Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 19.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK assets participating in Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 19 are due to conclude their deployment on 12 July 2019.

3 Jul 2019, 2:36 p.m. Nuclear Submarines: Decommissioning Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps her Department is taking to minimise the time taken to dispose of retired nuclear submarines.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

An established programme of work is in place to dispose of our decommissioned nuclear submarines as soon as practicable. Good progress has been made and the initial phase of dismantling of the first submarine, SWIFTSURE, has been completed. Work continues on the removal of low level radioactive waste from the second boat, RESOLUTION. We expect to have a fully developed process for steady state disposal ready by 2026. In parallel, we continue to examine techniques and processes that can maximise the efficiency of this work.

3 Jul 2019, 2:28 p.m. Warships: Territorial Waters Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps her Department is taking to deter foreign military vessels from entering UK territorial waters.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The protection of UK Territorial waters is a shared responsibility between the Ministry of Defence; Border Force; Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs; and, in relation to fisheries, the Marine Management Organisation in England, Marine Scotland and Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

As part of the Ministry of Defence's contribution to the Government's efforts, there is always one Royal Navy ship that is designated as the Fleet Ready Escort (FRE), together with a number of Royal Navy units available in UK waters. The FRE is at short notice to react to any maritime threat to the UK.

The FRE will spend the majority of the year in and around UK waters conducting training and exercises with various UK and military agencies and organisations. This is combined with RAF surveillance aircraft and a multi layered range of complementary assets, including those from Allies.

2 Jul 2019, 12:40 p.m. Maritime Patrol Aircraft Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A) will be operational.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The first UK Poseidon MRA Mk1 (P-8A) is scheduled to arrive in the UK in early 2020 and we expect to have reached initial operating capability during 2020.

27 Jun 2019, 1:29 p.m. Anduril: Marines Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) period and (b) cost is of the contract between the Royal Marines Commando force and Andurial Industries.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

There is no direct contract in place between the Royal Marines and Anduril Industries. Equipment was procured from the company by QinetiQ on behalf of the Royal Navy. For reasons of commercial sensitivity, I am withholding information regarding the value.

27 Jun 2019, 1:29 p.m. Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) period and (b) cost is of the contract between his Department and NP Aerospace in relation to Protected Mobility Engineering and Technical Support.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The £63 million Protected Mobility Engineering and Technical Services contract was awarded to NP Aerospace Limited in January 2019. It is expected to run until 2024, with options to extend until 2030.

26 Jun 2019, 1:43 p.m. HMS Forth Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when HMS Forth will be deployed; and whether it will be permanently deployed to the UK's South Atlantic Territories.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Royal Navy maintains a permanent presence in the South Atlantic. For reasons of safeguarding national security, we do not discuss the detail of such operations or of future programmes, as this would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

25 Jun 2019, 2:34 p.m. Estonia: Air Force Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times RAF aircraft have been scrambled as part of Operation Azotize.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

For the 2019 Operation AZOTIZE deployment to undertake Baltic Air Policing in Estonia, the RAF Typhoon detachment have launched Quick Reaction Alert on nine separate days.

11 Jun 2019, 3:26 p.m. Navy: Baltic Sea Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether she plans for a continued UK presence in the Baltic following the conclusion of the current six-month patrol by HMS Westminster.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK has a longstanding and enduring commitment to the Baltic Sea Region with a significant presence most notably within Estonia. The UK plays a leading role in NATO's Deterrence and Defence strategy by providing the Framework Headquarters and Battlegroup of around 850 personnel in Estonia. This capable force is augmented by an annual rotation of Apache Attack helicopters and Wildcat Lynx multirole helicopters. The UK contributes to the NATO air policing mission and our long-term commitment will see forces deployed in Estonia in 2019 and 2022, Lithuania in 2020 and Romania in 2021. The UK led Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) deployment to the Baltic Sea Region over 20 May - 12 July demonstrates the UK's focus upon the Baltic Sea, North Atlantic and High North regions as we integrate partnering nations' capabilities

11 Jun 2019, 3:22 p.m. Greece: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps her Department is taking to increase defence and security cooperation with Greece.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK has a close defence and security relationship with Greece, based on a programme of bilateral co-operation and interoperability through NATO, that includes the use of Souda Bay base on Crete. Opportunities for further bilateral co-operation are reviewed through regular consultations at both the political and military level, including the development of a joint vision statement.

11 Jun 2019, 3:06 p.m. Sweden: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to strengthen defence and security cooperation between the UK and Sweden.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK's defence and security relationship with Sweden is driven by the 2014 Statement of Intent. This is underpinned by a Programme of Bilateral Defence Co-operation which provides a framework to enhance our bilateral co-operation in a number of key areas, including enhancing levels of interoperability, capability collaboration, concepts and doctrine, operations, training and exercises. Sweden joined the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force in 2017 and is a member of the Northern Group. Opportunities for further bilateral co-operation are reviewed through regular consultations at both the political and military level.

11 Jun 2019, 3:06 p.m. Denmark: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to increase defence and security cooperation with Denmark.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK has a very close defence and security relationship with Denmark, underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012. We continue to enhance our levels of bilateral co-operation and interoperability though NATO, joint operational deployments (Denmark contributed a Company to the UK-led battalion based in Estonia in 2018, part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence), the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force and the Northern Group. Opportunities for further bilateral co-operation are reviewed through regular consultations at both the political and military level.

30 May 2019, 4:05 p.m. University Officer Training Corps Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to promote the university officer training corps at UK universities.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy continues to engage with universities in a myriad of ways as part of wider recruiting efforts but also to increase awareness amongst the graduate population as to the presence and purpose of the Navy. A University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) opened in Devon in 2017, making 15 URNUs in total, and the Navy continues to review opportunities to expand this footprint further. The Captain of Navy Recruiting (CNR) delivers three-day awareness packages at a variety of universities which last year resulted in 600 expressions of interest. CNR also runs the Undergraduate Leadership Programme, which this year will offer six-week long placements to 15 successful candidates from 900 initial applications. Lastly, changes to the way the Services recruit their engineers will mean that, under the new STEM Graduate Inflow Scheme, those individuals who have been selected to be Engineer Officers in the Royal Navy, and are sponsored through university as a result, will be able to attend any university, thus broadening even further the exposure of the wider university population to the Royal Navy.

Army

The Army has a total of 15 University Officers' Training Corps (UOTC) and two Officer Training Regiments (OTRs), which welcome enquiries from any individual enrolled in a higher education course at any university or college across the UK. Each training corps regularly engages with the higher education sector through Military Education Committees, the formal mechanism for engagement with affiliated universities. Additionally, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst engages nationally on their behalf with the Council of Military Education Committees.

UOTCs are actively promoted by the Army online, through the use of the official Army website and via approved social media accounts run by each individual unit. More direct engagement activities are conducted by the UOTCs themselves, along with the Army's specialist engagement teams, within various higher education establishments, such as appearances at freshers' fairs, open evenings and through the delivery of leadership events. UOTCs are also promoted during school and cadet unit visits, to ensure that young people are aware of the opportunities available to them, should they go onto higher education.

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force (RAF) currently has 15 University Air Squadrons (UAS) comprising a membership of around 900 undergraduates, from 118 affiliated universities, throughout the UK. The UAS regularly liaise with Military Education Committees; they will also attend university freshers' fairs and use the internet to encourage university student participation. The RAF welcomes enquiries from students and actively encourages students, throughout their university journey, to join the organisation.

28 May 2019, 1:09 p.m. New Zealand: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to build defence and security co-operation with New Zealand.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

New Zealand is a close defence partner. We work together on operations and defence capabilities, including the P8 Poseidon, while maintaining regular exchanges of personnel. HMS Montrose visited Auckland in January 2019. This relationship is further underpinned by regular meetings between senior officers and officials. We are also partners under the Five Power Defence Arrangements and as part of the Five Eyes Community.

23 May 2019, 2:47 p.m. Republic of Ireland: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to increase defence and security co-operation with the Republic of Ireland.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Levels of co-operation with the Republic of Ireland have developed significantly since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence and Security Co-operation in 2015. This is underpinned by an action plan which provides a framework to enhance our bilateral defence and security relationship in a number of key areas, including increased training opportunities, cyber defence, maritime and air security, and information-sharing. Opportunities for further bilateral co-operation are reviewed through regular consultations at both the policy and military level.

23 May 2019, 2:45 p.m. Shipbuilding Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of the recommendations made in the report entitled, National Ship Building Strategy, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair in May 2019.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

I thank the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Shipbuilding and Ship Repair for their work in completing this report.

The Ministry of Defence is not required to make a formal assessment of the recommendations in the report, but as per my oral contribution on 20 May 2019 (Official Report column 494) I would be happy to meet the APPG to discuss their report.

22 May 2019, 3:08 p.m. Clyde Naval Base: Unmanned Air Vehicles Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of safeguards for submarines relating to drone activity when entering or leaving Faslane.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

We employ a range of security measures to counter threats to our national security. I am withholding further details as publication would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

21 May 2019, 2:59 p.m. Baltic States: Navy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times UK ships have visited the Baltic states as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group One since 2015.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Since 2015 UK Naval ships have visited the Baltic states as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for six visits and as part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 for 15 visits.

17 May 2019, 12:25 p.m. South Korea: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to enhance defence and security co-operation with South Korea.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

We committed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (2015) to deepen our relationship with South Korea as a priority partner in Asia. Two Royal Navy Ships visited South Korea in 2018, and we have carried out regular exercise and training activity. This included combined amphibious training in Exercise SSANGYONG 18, supported by HMS SUTHERLAND.

15 May 2019, 2:34 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) existing and (b) proposed commitments the Government has made to the European defence union; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

NATO remains the cornerstone of our defence. The UK has welcomed closer cooperation on security and defence at EU level, to the extent that it is coherent with NATO. The Political Declaration agreed in November 2018 provides the basis for a flexible and scalable future security partnership. The UK, along with other EU Member States, has been clear that we retain full sovereign control over defence policy and decision making.

14 May 2019, 3:27 p.m. Australia: Joint Exercises Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what joint military exercises the UK plans to undertake with Australia.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK and Australia continue to exercise alongside each other regularly. Plans include:

Exercise Pacific Kukri involving elements of British Forces Brunei in Australia enabled by the Australian Army.

Exercise Talisman Sabre, primarily a US/Australian Exercise, but also involving Royal Marine and RAF personnel.

Exercise Diamond Strike, a US/Australian air warfare exercise, also involving a small number of RAF personnel.

Exercise Bersama Lima, the key annual exercise for the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, including force elements from the RAF participating alongside the RAAF in 2019

14 May 2019, 3:25 p.m. Netherlands: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to increase defence and security cooperation with the Netherlands.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Netherlands is one of the UK's closest defence and security partners and NATO Ally, a relationship which we are enhancing further under the 2017 Joint Vision Statement and annual Action Plan that underpins it, and through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force and the Northern Group.

14 May 2019, 3:24 p.m. Canada: Joint Exercises Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what joint military exercises the UK plans to undertake with Canada.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

As founding members of NATO, the UK and Canada regularly exercise together in NATO exercises, such as the US-led Baltops this summer and the UK-led Joint Warrior. Outside of NATO the UK and Canada plan to exercise together in a range of different exercises, including Cutlass Fury in September 2019, Nanook-Tuugaalik in 2020 and Maple Flag in 2021 should it be reinstated by the Canadians.

13 May 2019, 4:10 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what her Department's policy is on the integration of European armed forces plan; and if she will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Government is not aware of an integration of European armed forces plan. The UK supports increased cooperation and interoperability between armed forces, including at European level, for example through joint exercises and development of defence capabilities. Such cooperation must be complementary with NATO, the cornerstone of our defence.

13 May 2019, 3:49 p.m. Australia: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has for defence co-operation with Australia in the next 12 months.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Australia is one of our very closest defence partners. We work bilaterally and in multi-lateral fora such as the Five Eyes grouping and the Five Powers Defence Arrangements. We are cooperating on operations, notably in Afghanistan, collaborating on key defence capabilities, including the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and maintain regular exchanges of personnel. This is underpinned by regular meetings between Ministers and senior officers and officials, and the annual AUKMIN discussions between the Secretary of State for Defence, the Foreign Secretary and their Australian counterparts.

13 May 2019, 3:49 p.m. Iceland: Military Aid Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to provide military support to Iceland in the next 12 months.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK will contribute four Typhoon aircraft to NATO Air Policing in Iceland for the first time in late 2019. In addition, the UK regularly takes part in exercises hosted by Iceland and we plan to participate in Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 19 (NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise) and Exercise Northern Challenge 19 (NATO Bomb Disposal exercise).

7 May 2019, 3:40 p.m. Tanks Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department plans to reduce the number of tanks.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 April 2019, to Question 246488, to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Kevan Jones).

3 May 2019, 1:43 p.m. Navantia: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to prohibit Spanish firm, Navantia, from bidding for the contract to build Royal Navy support ships.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The Fleet Solid Support ship competition will be undertaken strictly in accordance with the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011, which govern competitive procurements conducted by the Ministry of Defence.

3 May 2019, 1:42 p.m. Air Force: Training Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timeframe is of UK aircrew to finish training to fly the Poseidon MRA Mkl (P-8A).

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The initial cohort of aircrew currently undertaking training for this platform will complete their training in time for the aircraft's delivery to the RAF in late 2019.

2 May 2019, 3:14 p.m. Armed Forces: Ethnic Groups Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of discrimination on trends in the level of people from ethnic minorities in the armed forces.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to preventing all forms of discrimination and is very clear that unacceptable behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated and action will be taken against anyone found to be engaging in such behaviour. All personnel have the right to work in an environment which is free from discrimination and unacceptable behaviour of any form. Personnel should be confident that any allegations will be taken very seriously, and action will be taken to deal with it. The Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, published in October 2018, is based on achieving a vision that reflects our recognition that the recruitment, and retention of individuals with diverse skills, perspectives and backgrounds will bring real strength to Defence and wider society. The Strategy is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-diversity-and-inclusion-strategy-2018-to-2030-a-force-for-inclusion

The MOD has no single formal mechanism to measure the effect of discrimination, however the Armed Forces have developed multiple methods of understanding the lived experience of our people, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) personnel, through a climate assessment regime. This approach includes BAME focus groups and regular engagement with our BAME employee networks. This provides the MOD with a vital feedback loop which informs behaviours and discipline training and policy.

Representation of people from BAME backgrounds in the Armed Forces continues to rise. The MOD publishes Biannual Diversity Statistics (available at the link below) which present information relating to the gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion and age of Service personnel.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-biannual-diversity-statistics-2018

2 May 2019, 3:08 p.m. D-Day Landings: Anniversaries Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to mark the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will support commemorative events in the United Kingdom and France. The MOD is working closely with a range of stakeholders including the Normandy Memorial Trust, The Royal British Legion, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Portsmouth City Council and the French authorities in order to ensure that all commemorative events are a success. Our Armed Forces are proud to support these important commemorations as the nation pays tribute to the D-Day veterans who took part in the Normandy Landings 75 years ago.

Over 4,000 Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will be mobilised to offer ceremonial and logistical support to events on both sides of the English Channel. At least 11 Royal Navy vessels and multiple aircraft from the Red Arrows to the iconic Spitfire will be involved in events.

On 5 June, the UK will host a national commemorative event on Southsea Common, Portsmouth attended by D-Day veterans, representatives of the nations involved in D-Day and current serving personnel. An RAF flypast of 26 aircraft including the Red Arrows and a Spitfire will then take to the skies. In the evening, a flotilla of Royal Navy ships will salute up to 300 Normandy veterans on board The Royal British Legion’s specially chartered ship as they depart for Normandy, escorted by HMS St Albans, a Type-23 Royal Navy frigate. In France, members of the Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade will drop over Normandy from RAF aircraft to recreate the famous airborne landings. In the evening, the Army will support events taking place at Pegasus Bridge.

On 6 June in Normandy, the Army will be at Arromanches to mark the moment the first British soldier landed on Normandy’s beaches. Military musicians and personnel will support the inauguration of The Normandy Memorial Trust’s statue at Ver-Sur-Mer, in the presence of senior leaders. In Bayeux, The Royal British Legion will hold events commencing with a service at Bayeux Cathedral and a cemetery service at Commonwealth War Graves Commission Bayeux where they will be supported with a tri-service Guard of Honour and military musicians. In the afternoon, British veterans, escorted by Army personnel will move to Arromanches for informal events including a flypast by the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Any veterans who would like to attend events in the UK or Normandy are encouraged to contact The Royal British Legion at the following website: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/d-day-75/. Information on how the public can attend events in Portsmouth is available at the following website: https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/D-Day-events.

2 May 2019, 3:03 p.m. Cyprus: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Memorandum of Understanding with Cyprus on UK defence and security.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Defence and Security Co-operation Memorandum of Understanding will place our defence relationship with Cyprus on a more enduring basis and enable closer co-operation across a range of areas of mutual benefit, building on the Bilateral Defence Co-operation Programme. Planned activities include cyber defence and security, crisis management, exercising and training and maritime security. Other areas of cooperation will include joint planning, Search and Rescue and officer education.

2 May 2019, 3:01 p.m. India: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and India, what further steps he is taking to strengthen bilateral security and defence cooperation.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2019 to Question 245690 to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).

2 Apr 2019, 2:52 p.m. NATO Countries: Defence Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps he has taken to encourage NATO allies to meet the pledge to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

Answer (Gavin Williamson)

At the 2014 NATO Wales Summit, all Allies signed the Defence Investment Pledge (DIP) to spend 2% of GDP on defence and 20% of that on major equipment by 2024. The UK fully supports the DIP and has been clear on the need for increased defence spending in the Alliance to meet an evolving and complex security environment. The UK welcomed the Secretary General's recent announcement that non-US Allies will spend an extra $100 billion on defence over 2016-2020, and $350 billion by 2024. However, the UK remains clear that this upward trend must continue and regularly engages with Allies at all levels on this. For example, I spoke on the issue of burden sharing at the February NATO Defence Ministerial, where I welcomed progress already made and urged Allies to do more to meet their commitments.

29 Mar 2019, 2:05 p.m. AWACS: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of E-7 aircraft purchase by his Department to ensure the maintenance of the UK's early warning and control capability.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

We have procured adequate E-7 airframes against departmental requirements in line with the Modernising Defence Programme.

7 Mar 2019, 5:15 p.m. Estonia: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to strengthen the UK's defence relationship with Estonia after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK's defence relationship with Estonia is strong and will remain so after the UK leaves the EU. The UK has an enduring commitment to Estonia's security through the deployment of a Battlegroup under NATO's enhanced Forward Presence and our regular commitments to Baltic Air Policing based out of Ӓmari airbase (as the UK is doing so again in 2019). The UK has one of the largest sustained presences within the region, most recently augmented by our deployment of five Apache attack helicopters and three Wildcat helicopters to Estonia; this provides a potent force capability supporting our Allies and strengthening regional deterrence. We will continue to work closely with Estonia on operations, through NATO and as we develop the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force and Northern Group; we have an ambitious and far-reaching force development and training programme in place, and will continue to participate in Estonia's annual series of national defence exercises.

6 Mar 2019, 3:25 p.m. Army: Employment Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the level of personnel in the army on defence capacity; and whether he has plans to review the financial incentives offered to army personnel.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The Army has enough people to perform the operational requirements that help keep Britain safe.

Financial incentives for all Armed Forces personnel are scrutinised and reviewed on a continuing basis as part of routine Ministry of Defence governance processes and as part of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) remit. Outside of the AFPRB, the Army, along with the other Services, retain the delegated authority to introduce short-term financial incentives, designed to either incentivise continued service or entry into certain trades. These incentives are kept under review.

6 Mar 2019, 3:25 p.m. Armed Forces: Employment Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress he has made on meeting the 2020 target for numbers of personnel in the armed forces.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

It remains a priority for each Service to meet the target for Armed Forces personnel strength in 2020 and there are a range of measures both already in progress and in the pipeline to improve the position. These include the introduction of the Armed Forces People Programme to modernise aspects of the employment offer including scope for flexible working and the Future Accommodation Model.

Record employment levels and significant demographic changes contribute to creating a challenging recruitment environment for the Armed Forces. Whilst there are shortfalls in the trained Armed Forces personnel; overall the trained strength remains at over 93% of its target and, most importantly, we continue to meet all our operational commitments. We are working to address the shortfalls, continue to apply a range of measures to improve recruitment and retention and keep the challenge under constant review.

19 Feb 2019, 4:13 p.m. Fisheries: Protection Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department will provide protection for British fishermen who encounter aggressive action from French fishermen in British waters after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Royal Navy vessels operate in UK waters in addition to the United Kingdom Border Force, marine policing units, the vessels of the inshore fishery conservation authorities and maritime and coastguard agency aircraft. These operations ensure that freedom of navigation is maintained so that everyone who seeks to use the seas for their lawful business, regardless of nationality, can do so.

There are no plans for Royal Navy vessels to be used to provide direct security to British fisherman after the UK leaves the EU.

13 Feb 2019, 5:19 p.m. Navy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the size of the Royal Navy fleet (a) was in 2013 and (b) is in 2019.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The following tables list in service Naval vessels as at 23 January 2013 and 1 January 2019.

Naval Vessels in Service as at 23 January 2013

Landing Platform Helicopter

2

Landing Platform Dock

2

Type 45 Destroyer

4

Type 42 Destroyer

1

Type 23 Frigate

13

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

8

Sandown Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

7

Offshore Patrol Vessel - River Class

3

Offshore Patrol Vessel - Helicopters

1

Inshore Patrol Boat

18

Ocean Survey Vessel

1

Coastal Survey Vessel

2

Inshore Survey Vessel/Survey Motor Launch

1

Ice Patrol Ship

1

Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear

4

Ship Submersible Nuclear Trafalgar Class

5

Ship Submersible Nuclear Astute Class

1

Fleet Tanker

2

Support Tanker

1

Small Fleet Tanker

2

Fleet Replenishment Ship

3

Landing Ship Dock

3

Aviation Training Ship

1

Forward Repair Ship

1

TOTAL

87

Naval Vessels in Service as at 1 January 2019

Aircraft Carrier

1

Landing Platform Dock

2

Type 45 Destroyer

6

Type 23 Frigate

13

Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

6

Sandown Class Mine Counter Measure Vessel

7

Offshore Patrol Vessel - River Class

2

Offshore Patrol Vessel - Helicopters

1

Inshore Patrol Boat

18

Ocean Survey Vessel

1

Coastal Survey Vessel

2

Inshore Survey Vessel/Survey Motor Launch

1

Ice Patrol Ship

1

Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear

4

Ship Submersible Nuclear Trafalgar Class

3

Ship Submersible Nuclear Astute Class

3

Fleet Tanker

4

Fleet Replenishment Ship

3

Landing Ship Dock

3

Primary Casualty Receiving Ship/Aviation Training Ship

1

TOTAL

82

The Government has pledged to increase our maritime power to project the UK's influence across the world and promote our national prosperity. On current plans, over the next decade we will spend £64.1 billion on procurement and support of ships and submarines.

The Royal Navy will have a second aircraft carrier, HMS PRINCE OF WALES, as well as new Type 26 Frigates and at least five Type 31e Frigates that will allow us to increase our fleet by the 2030s. There will also be new support ships and tankers, and we have announced that we are retaining the Batch 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels while the new Batch 2 ships come into service, all of which we expect to have by the end of 2020.

On 11 February 2019, the Secretary of State for Defence announced that the Ministry of Defence would be investing in an accelerated Concept and Development Phase for Littoral Strike Ships. These ships will maintain the UK’s ability to deliver cutting edge hard power across the globe.

13 Feb 2019, 5:17 p.m. Armed Forces: ICT Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to increase the cyber skill capability of the armed forces.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Cyber is becoming an essential part of core military training. A dedicated state-of-the-art Defence Cyber School has opened at the Defence Academy, to deliver a centre of excellence for cyber training and exercising for defence and wider government.

The Defence Cyber School is approaching its first anniversary and has already trained specialist cyber military and civilian personnel, primarily from the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Its capacity will increase in 2019 and again in 2020.

A foundation training pathway is being implemented in 2019 which provides a recognised route to train personnel to pre-determined, internationally recognised cyber standards, providing the core skills to work in a range of key cyber roles across Defence.

The Defence Cyber School also has a synthetic training capability which supports the core skills taught in the classroom. This capability is available government wide and allows those in a Cyber specialist role to train flexibly away from the classroom and to maintain their skills to combat skill fade in this rapidly developing domain.

From a wider cross-Government civil perspective, Cabinet Office are leading on the development of a Government Security Profession and are working in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and all Government Departments to deliver a capability framework for cyber security professionals. The MOD is heavily engaged in this, with initial focus being on strengthening risk management and security architecture. The Cyber Security capability framework is planned for release in June 2019.

13 Feb 2019, 5:16 p.m. Ascension Island: Airports Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to ask the US Air Force to speed up repairs of the runway on Ascension Island.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Ministry of Defence officials are working closely with the US Air Force to ensure the effective delivery of a full runway resurface on Ascension Island. The isolated and remote location of Ascension Island creates a number of logistical challenges for such a large scale infrastructure project, but I am confident the project will be delivered in a timely manner and to the highest of standards.

13 Feb 2019, 5:15 p.m. Ascension Island and St Helena: Airports Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department is making on improving communications with the Department for International Development on matters relating to the British Overseas Territories of St Helena and Ascension Island airports.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Cross-Government working is the norm and there is regular engagement between Departments on the British Overseas Territories.

13 Feb 2019, 5:13 p.m. Defence: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government is taking steps to ensure that EU companies will no longer have an automatic right to bid on defence and security contracts after the 29 March 2019 in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

In the event of 'no deal', the Defence and Security Public Contract Regulations 2011 will be amended to provide a legal right of market access for suppliers based in the UK and Gibraltar only. After 29 March, EU suppliers will be allowed to bid for defence and security contracts on the same basis as suppliers outside the EU.

12 Feb 2019, 4:49 p.m. Japan: Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to strengthen the defence and security relationship between the UK and Japan.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

In 2017 Prime Ministers May and Abe signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and reaffirmed this in January 2019 during Prime Minister Abe's visit to the UK. We have delivered on this throughout 2018 by deploying three Royal Navy ships to the region which exercised with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and conducted the first-ever UK land exercise in Japan. In addition, we are developing an administrative and legal framework to support further exercises, operations, and capability partnerships, including the possibility of exploring cooperation on future combat aircraft and air-to-air missiles.

During HMS Montrose's upcoming deployment to the region, in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions against North Korea, she will take the opportunity to exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

12 Feb 2019, 2:25 p.m. Armed Forces: Health Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the article in the Express entitled A fifth of British troops are too unfit to fight warns former Armed Forces chief, published on 25 February 2018, whether a fifth of soldiers are unfit for overseas action; and what work his Department is doing to ensure soldiers are fit for action.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

It is not true that a fifth of Armed Forces personnel are too unfit to fight. Approximately 80% of UK Armed Forces personnel are Medically Fully Deployable, however 90% could deploy with some personnel subject to a medical risk assessment; 98% of UK Armed Forces personnel are currently employable within the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Service personnel can be non-deployable for various reasons which include failing a fitness test, but also those identified as being Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) which provides access to the Defence Recovery Capability, enabling an effective return to duty or transition to a properly supported and appropriately skilled civilian life.

The military has programmes that provide long-term support and change behaviour strategies to address poor lifestyle choices and weight management issues. If personnel fail a fitness test, they are put on a targeted programme to help them back to the required levels. The MOD has trialled the Defence Occupational Fitness Programme (DOFit) which provides evidence-based courses, supported by Public Health England, aimed at helping individuals return to optimal fitness. These can be employed post-injury, or in the event of someone not being able to complete the fitness test to a satisfactory standard. Following completion of the DOFit trial the programme has been implemented by the Royal Navy and the Army.

29 Jan 2019, 1:52 p.m. Air Space: Defence Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of incursions into British airspace by foreign military aircraft.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

There have been no unauthorised incursions by any foreign military aircraft into sovereign air space around the UK, which projects 12 miles off shore or to mutually agreed mid-points between adjacent nations over narrow straits such as the Straits of Dover. The UK civil air traffic region and the NATO Air Policing Area, which the UK has responsibility for monitoring, include large areas of international airspace through which foreign military traffic may legally transit.

The airspace around and approaching the UK is permanently monitored and RAF Typhoon Quick Reaction Alert aircraft stand ready to scramble and intercept aircraft approaching the UK if required.

29 Jan 2019, 1:33 p.m. Baltic States and Poland: Military Aid Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of awarding the General Service Medal to British forces personnel who are serving on Operation Cabrit.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Operation CABRIT is not currently a medal-earning operation. All operations change over time and so the Ministry of Defence reviews medallic recognition for all operations on a periodic basis. Operation CABRIT will be subject to this review process in due course.

29 Jan 2019, 1:30 p.m. Army: Military Bases Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the re-basing of the British Army from Germany to the UK.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The programme is on schedule to complete the relocation of its major units from Germany in 2019. Since 2010, over 16,000 troops (82% of the 2010 footprint in Germany) have relocated to the UK. This includes the building of 1,500 new military houses and 4,500 single bed spaces.

29 Jan 2019, 12:58 p.m. Islamic State: Military Intervention Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many deployments of British personnel from the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Marines, (c) Army and (d) Royal Air Force there have been in each year of Operation Shader.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The number of UK Armed Forces personnel deployed on operations by financial year (FY) is provided below:

Operation Toral

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

30

30

20

40

Army

1,030

980

1,030

1,220

RAF

340

480

290

450

Tri-Service Total

1,400

1,500

1,340

1,710

Operation Shader

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

60

70

80

80

Army

500

740

1,620

1,920

RAF

1,950

2,420

2,210

2,230

Tri-Service Total

2,510

3,230

3,910

4,230

Operation Cabrit

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

~

40

Army

380

2,400

RAF

-

120

Tri-Service Total

380

2,560

Notes

  • UK Armed Forces personnel’ includes UK Regular Forces, Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel and mobilised reservists.
  • Navy figures include Service personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

  • Service personnel deployed on the same operation across two successive financial years are only counted once and against the earlier financial year.
  • Earliest instance of deployment on Operation Cabrit was in FY 2016-17.
  • Deployment data is derived from the Joint Personnel Administration `Move and Track` system.

  • All figures are rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid systematic bias. Figures below 5 denoted by ~, zero denoted by -.

  • Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and may not equal the sum of their rounded parts.

29 Jan 2019, 12:58 p.m. Afghanistan: Military Aid Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many deployments of British personnel from the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Marines, (c) Army and (d) Royal Air Force there have been in each year of Operation Toral.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The number of UK Armed Forces personnel deployed on operations by financial year (FY) is provided below:

Operation Toral

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

30

30

20

40

Army

1,030

980

1,030

1,220

RAF

340

480

290

450

Tri-Service Total

1,400

1,500

1,340

1,710

Operation Shader

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

60

70

80

80

Army

500

740

1,620

1,920

RAF

1,950

2,420

2,210

2,230

Tri-Service Total

2,510

3,230

3,910

4,230

Operation Cabrit

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

~

40

Army

380

2,400

RAF

-

120

Tri-Service Total

380

2,560

Notes

  • UK Armed Forces personnel’ includes UK Regular Forces, Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel and mobilised reservists.
  • Navy figures include Service personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

  • Service personnel deployed on the same operation across two successive financial years are only counted once and against the earlier financial year.
  • Earliest instance of deployment on Operation Cabrit was in FY 2016-17.
  • Deployment data is derived from the Joint Personnel Administration `Move and Track` system.

  • All figures are rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid systematic bias. Figures below 5 denoted by ~, zero denoted by -.

  • Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and may not equal the sum of their rounded parts.

29 Jan 2019, 12:58 p.m. Baltic States and Poland: Military Aid Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many deployments of British personnel from the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Marines, (c) Army and (d) Royal Air Force there have been in each year of Operation Cabrit.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The number of UK Armed Forces personnel deployed on operations by financial year (FY) is provided below:

Operation Toral

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

30

30

20

40

Army

1,030

980

1,030

1,220

RAF

340

480

290

450

Tri-Service Total

1,400

1,500

1,340

1,710

Operation Shader

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

60

70

80

80

Army

500

740

1,620

1,920

RAF

1,950

2,420

2,210

2,230

Tri-Service Total

2,510

3,230

3,910

4,230

Operation Cabrit

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Navy

~

40

Army

380

2,400

RAF

-

120

Tri-Service Total

380

2,560

Notes

  • UK Armed Forces personnel’ includes UK Regular Forces, Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel and mobilised reservists.
  • Navy figures include Service personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

  • Service personnel deployed on the same operation across two successive financial years are only counted once and against the earlier financial year.
  • Earliest instance of deployment on Operation Cabrit was in FY 2016-17.
  • Deployment data is derived from the Joint Personnel Administration `Move and Track` system.

  • All figures are rounded to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid systematic bias. Figures below 5 denoted by ~, zero denoted by -.

  • Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and may not equal the sum of their rounded parts.

22 Jan 2019, 4:09 p.m. Defence: Space Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the strength of the UK space defence sector.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK Space Agency regularly monitor the progress of the sector and Ministers and officials regularly engage with representatives of the industry. The space sector has grown at an average of over 8% per year over the last decade and three times faster than the average sector over the last five years.  The UK is a world-leader in small satellite technology, telecommunications, robotics and earth observation, while British universities are some of the best in the world for space science.

21 Jan 2019, 4:14 p.m. Republic of Ireland: Armed Forces Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Irish citizens have joined the British armed forces in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The numbers of Irish and Commonwealth citizens who have joined the Regular Armed Forces in the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2018 is provided below.

Financial Year

Irish Regular Personnel

Commonwealth Regular Personnel

2008-09

40

1,470

2009-10

80

970

2010-11

80

450

2011-12

100

680

2012-13

110

720

2013-14

60

440

2014-15

100

120

2015-16

110

90

2016-17

80

320

2017-18

60

480

Total

840

5,740

Notes:

  • UK Regulars comprises Full-time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, but excluding Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guard Service, Locally Employed Personnel and Non-Regular Permanent Staff
  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Figures ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest 20 to avoid systemic bias

21 Jan 2019, 4:14 p.m. Commonwealth: Armed Forces Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Commonwealth citizens have joined the British armed forces in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The numbers of Irish and Commonwealth citizens who have joined the Regular Armed Forces in the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2018 is provided below.

Financial Year

Irish Regular Personnel

Commonwealth Regular Personnel

2008-09

40

1,470

2009-10

80

970

2010-11

80

450

2011-12

100

680

2012-13

110

720

2013-14

60

440

2014-15

100

120

2015-16

110

90

2016-17

80

320

2017-18

60

480

Total

840

5,740

Notes:

  • UK Regulars comprises Full-time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, but excluding Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guard Service, Locally Employed Personnel and Non-Regular Permanent Staff
  • Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. Figures ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest 20 to avoid systemic bias

20 Dec 2018, 3:05 p.m. Defence: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Government Procurement Agreement of the World Trade Organisation on the (a) retention and (b) enhancement of UK defence contracts.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK intends to accede to the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement on the same terms as is currently the position for the UK as an EU Member State. The UK's final market access offer was agreed in principle on 27 November 2018. As a result, while the treatment of defence contracts is expected to remain unchanged, the Ministry of Defence is contributing to work across Government to understand the implications and opportunities of accession.

20 Dec 2018, 3:05 p.m. National Security Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 November 2018 to Question 194078 on UK national security, if he will take steps to implement safeguards to ensure the general defence exemption under the Government Procurement Agreement is retained in full and not limited as a result of residual obligations to the EU after the UK has left the EU.

Answer (Stuart Andrew)

The UK intends to accede to the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement on the same terms as is currently the position for the UK as an EU Member State. The UK's final market access offer was agreed in principle on 27 November 2018. As a result, while the treatment of defence contracts is expected to remain unchanged, the Ministry of Defence is contributing to work across Government to understand the implications and opportunities of accession.

10 Jul 2018, 3:46 p.m. Armed Forces: Recruitment Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that fitness standards are not reduced for recruits as a result of ground close combat roles now being open to women.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

There will be no lowering of standards as a result of Ground Close Combat roles being open to women.

We take the health and fitness standards of our personnel extremely seriously and constantly seek to apply the latest physiological science to modernise and improve the way we train them to meet the demands of the roles they are employed in, regardless of gender.

As part of a physiological research programme, the Services have been working with experts to ensure its physical training methods, along with the right balance of rest, hydration and nutrition, physically prepare our personnel in the best way. The programme will deliver robust gender free selection and in-service fitness standards, and improved methods for conducting physical training and testing to match the capabilities of the individuals with the duties they need to perform. Importantly, it will also reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

10 Jul 2018, 3:46 p.m. Rifles Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department is planning to replace the current SA80 standard service rifle.

Answer (Guto Bebb)

The Ministry of Defence is currently upgrading 5,000 SA80 A2 models to the A3 model, with the intent to upgrade more weapons in the future. This upgrade delivers significant enhancements whilst extending the out of service date beyond 2025. No decision has been taken on the replacement of the SA80 A3 model.

10 Jul 2018, 3:42 p.m. European Defence Fund Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what involvement the UK is planned to have in the EU's new defence fund and defence industrial programme.

Answer (Guto Bebb)

As the Prime Minister stated in Munich, the UK wants to agree a future relationship with the European Defence Fund, including the European Industrial Development Programme. The UK has always participated in European collaborative programmes and we support this new mechanism for managing collaboration.

Our track record shows we have much to offer and our defence industry is world-class. We have a key role to play in European defence and security.

We are open to considering all options for participation in the EDF and the Government will be guided by what delivers the greatest economic advantage to the UK and UK industry.

10 Jul 2018, 3:15 p.m. Intelligence Services: International Cooperation Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to preserve the UK's alliance with its Five Eyes partners.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

Our relationship with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is, and will remain, of utmost importance to the United Kingdom. The relationship is steeped in history and underpinned by mutual trust, respect and shared values. The defence cooperation between our Five Eyes partners is collectively the broadest, deepest and most advanced of any grouping of nations. The relationship is and will remain mutually supportive; we each make a significant and enduring contribution to dealing with the global security challenges which we collectively face. We have a long-standing intelligence relationship, a burden sharing approach to operations, peace and security, and we are continually working towards long-term interoperability.

The Secretary of State for Defence has an excellent relationship with each of the Defence Secretaries from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; they talk and meet regularly - both bi-laterally and as a group. He is committed to preserving and deepening this relationship.

10 Jul 2018, 3:14 p.m. Armed Forces Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK remains a tier one military power.

Answer (Gavin Williamson)

This Government is absolutely committed to maintaining the UK's status as a 'tier 1' military power. The plans and policies set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review confirmed our commitment to maintain our world leading military status, and the Modernising Defence Programme aims to strengthen Defence and our Armed Forces further.

10 Jul 2018, 3:12 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure the independence of UK armed forces within the European Intervention Initiative.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The European Intervention Initiative does not affect the independence of UK Armed Forces in any way. It is a flexible, non-binding forum, that provides a framework for increased co-operation between participating European states. It is not a standing force.

It aims to improve information sharing, planning and co-ordination of deployments to save time and make sure work is not duplicated when tackling common threats and challenges. The decision on whether to participate in its specific activities rests with us at all times.

14 Dec 2017, 10:56 a.m. Armed Forces: Aircraft Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using hybrid air vehicles in the UK military.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

At present the Ministry of Defence has no defined military requirement for a Hybrid Air Vehicle capability. We continue to monitor the development of a number of technologies that may offer capabilities of interest in the future, including manned, unmanned and hybrid platforms.

13 Dec 2017, 5:51 p.m. Defence: Finance Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment his Department has made as to whether the 2 per cent of GDP spending target is sufficient to meet UK defence needs over the next 20 years.

Answer (Gavin Williamson)

The commitment to spend 2% of GDP on Defence came after a thorough examination of threats and risks, after which the Government decided on an appropriate level of funding. The 2% commitment should be seen as a base and not a target.

The Government are committed to spending 2% of GDP on Defence until 2022. Commitments on Defence spending beyond this point will be laid out in future Spending Reviews.

5 Dec 2017, 4:47 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the defence assets being considered for pooling under the Permanent Structured Cooperation; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The aim of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis.

Member States have suggested more than 40 potential projects for PESCO, none of which propose a standing military unit or pooled assets although a number of projects seek to establish a centre of excellence, logistics hub, or medical command. The UK and other Member States are committed to preventing unnecessary duplication between the EU and NATO, including the establishment of military forces where that need is already met by NATO.

5 Dec 2017, 4:47 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list those capabilities under discussion in the Permanent Structured Cooperation that would be able to generate a standing multinational unit; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The aim of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis.

Member States have suggested more than 40 potential projects for PESCO, none of which propose a standing military unit or pooled assets although a number of projects seek to establish a centre of excellence, logistics hub, or medical command. The UK and other Member States are committed to preventing unnecessary duplication between the EU and NATO, including the establishment of military forces where that need is already met by NATO.

5 Dec 2017, 4:45 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which UK companies have been awarded contracts under the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The proposals for the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (2017) are under evaluation, and the companies that have been awarded contracts have not yet been announced.

5 Dec 2017, 4:45 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his Irish counterpart on translating joint activity under the EU Battlegroup System into a replacement UN framework; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Ministry of Defence maintains a constructive dialogue with Ireland, including a successful visit by the Minister of State in the House of Lords, The right hon. The Earl Howe PC, to Dublin on 3 October. Discussions for maintaining and increasing our future co-operation have covered a range of topics, including potential future co-operation on UN operations. The exact nature of the UK's relationship with the EU and commitments post 2019, including EU Battlegroups, are to be determined as part of negotiations.

5 Dec 2017, 4:44 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the permitted triggers for EU member states requesting funding from the EU Cooperative Financial Mechanism.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The EU Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM) is a new European Defence Agency initiative and is being established on the basis that member states shall only contribute funds on a voluntary basis. The UK has yet to make a decision on whether it will seek to remain party to the CFM in the longer term. As the CFM is only at an embryonic stage there are no 'permitted triggers' agreed for EU member states requesting funding in existence.

5 Dec 2017, 4:43 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his European Union counterparts on maintaining funding for European Union defence programmes after the UK has left the EU.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

Ministry of Defence Ministers and officials regularly speak to their European counterparts on a range of EU issues. The Government is open to considering options and models for UK participation in European defence research and development and capability programmes and initiatives but this is subject to negotiation.

4 Dec 2017, 5:04 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the UK programmes providing support for the development of the European Defence Technology Industrial Base.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

As the largest defence spender in Europe, there are a number of UK programmes that support the development of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). These include our ongoing investment in Typhoon; the UK-French Maritime Mine Counter-Measure programme; the UK-French Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) (SeaVenom); the 'METEOR' missile; the A400M; Tornado aircraft; and the UK procurement of the 'AJAX' armoured fighting vehicle.

The UK remains an irreplaceable component of European defence capability and is a key industrial partner in European cooperative development programmes. The UK also holds membership of two non-EU intergovernmental agencies; the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation and the Letter of Intent Treaty nations framework which promote the strengthening of the EDTIB.

1 Dec 2017, 2:57 p.m. Military Alliances Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a list of bilateral and multilateral defence agreements excluding those with NATO and the EU.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

Bilateral and multilateral defence agreements in treaty form can be found on the UK Treaties Online database and since 2010 there has been a legal requirement to lay new treaties before Parliament. Bilateral and multilateral defence agreements in memorandum of understanding or contract form cannot be listed and placed in the Library as listing would prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and other states and would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

1 Dec 2017, 2:53 p.m. European Defence Fund Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for UK participation in the European Defence Research Programme.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

Through our future partnership, we want to explore how best to ensure that both UK and European companies can continue working together to deliver the capabilities that we all need to protect Europe.

The UK is open to considering options and models for UK participation in European defence research and development and capability programmes and initiatives but this is subject to negotiation.

1 Dec 2017, 2:50 p.m. European Defence Agency Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for future association with the European Defence Agency; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The UK remains committed to the defence and security of Europe, and protecting the interests of UK industry.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has a central coordinating role between EU Member States, the European Commission, and countries outside the EU (which must have an Administrative Arrangement with the EDA agreed by all participating Member States) in the development of defence capabilities. The level of future UK cooperation with the EDA will form part of the wider EU withdrawal considerations.

1 Dec 2017, 2:49 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the UK's planned financial contribution is to the Military Planning and Conduct Capability.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

For 2018, the Military Planning and Conduct Capability proposed budget is €300,000, of which the UK will pay an amount in accordance with the yet to be agreed 2018 Cost Key.

1 Dec 2017, 2:49 p.m. Defence: Finance Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what extra liabilities arise for the UK from the funding linkage between the European Investment Bank and European Defence Fund programmes.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The European Defence Fund programme comprises the Research Window and a Capability Window, itself divided into a European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and a Financial Toolbox. Both the Research Window and the EDIDP will be funded from the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework and have no funding linkages with the European Investment Bank (EIB). There is as yet little detail on the Commission's proposal for a Financial Toolbox.

1 Dec 2017, 2:48 p.m. Defence: Finance Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the UK share is of European Investment Bank funding of European Defence Fund programmes.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

There is as yet no European Investment Bank (EIB) funding of the European Defence Fund (EDF) programme. With the EU Commission's 'Financial Toolbox' proposal still in the very early stages of development, it is unlikely that there will be any EIB funding of the EDF while the UK is in the EU, and accordingly no UK share.

1 Dec 2017, 2:48 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what UK obligations arise as a result of being party to the EU Coordinated Annual Review on Defence.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The EU Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) is conducting a trial run in which the UK is participating. The UK is providing data on our Defence policy and plans as well as our military and non-military capabilities; the information is consistent with our commitment to provide UK Defence information to NATO, through the NATO Defence Planning Process. The UK has not made a decision whether to continue to participate in CARD beyond this trial.

1 Dec 2017, 2:47 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the UK share is of the EU Cooperative Financial Mechanism.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

There is currently no UK share of the EU Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM). The CFM is a new European Defence Agency initiative and is being established on the basis that Member States shall only contribute funds on a voluntary basis. The UK has yet to make a decision on whether it will seek to remain party to the CFM in the longer term.

1 Dec 2017, 2:46 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which programmes conceptualised at European Defence Agency level have subsequently been transferred to non-EU intergovernmental procurement and research agencies; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The following programmes have been transferred from the European Defence Agency to non-EU intergovernmental agencies: the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance programme, which is now managed by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR); the Multi-role Tanker Transport Fleet programme, for which OCCAR manages the acquisition as the NATO Support and Procurement Agency's Contract Executing Agent; and the European Secure Software Defined Radio project, which is managed by OCCAR.

1 Dec 2017, 2:46 p.m. NATO: Assets Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on participation in the NATO pooled assets programmes, with reference to the multi-role tanker transport fleet; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The Multi-role Tanker Transport Fleet nests within the joint European/NATO acquisition programme initiated by the European Defence Agency. The UK is not a participant in the programme and we do not currently have an intention to participate. The Royal Air Force operates its own Multi-Role Transport Aircraft with Air to Air Refuelling capability in its 9 Voyager K2/K3 aircraft. These national assets form part of our national commitment to meeting the capability targets apportioned by NATO to the UK.

1 Dec 2017, 2:44 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on developing a common strategy for the emerging common EU market in defence.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

Ministry of Defence Ministers regularly discuss European defence industrial issues and strategy with their ministerial colleagues. The overall objective of these discussions is to ensure the EU promotes open markets, that it supports NATO and the transatlantic relationship, and does not threaten UK defence and defence industrial interests.

1 Dec 2017, 2:36 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on participation in the rationalisation of EU defence industries on the basis of national specialisation; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The UK is not aware of any EU efforts to rationalise EU defence industries on the basis of national specialisation. The UK believes that rationalisation is primarily a decision for the defence industry while also respecting nations sovereign right to intervene on the basis of national security interests.

1 Dec 2017, 2:36 p.m. Defence: Procurement Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advice his Department provides to businesses on access to EU funds for defence procurement and research and development after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The UK is open to considering options and models for UK participation in EU defence research and development initiatives but this remains a matter for negotiation. We regularly update UK businesses on the progress of the negotiations.

1 Dec 2017, 2:35 p.m. Defence: Assets Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in which common defence assets held on the EU register of assets the UK has a share.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The EU Force Catalogue provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the military capabilities that Member States could make available to the EU. Member States contribute to EU capabilities under an agreed common funding mechanism but do not have shares in assets per se, and deployment of national capabilities in support of EU operations and missions remains a sovereign decision.

1 Dec 2017, 2:35 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on participation in the European Defence Industrial Development Programme after the UK has left the EU and if he will make a Statement.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

We are open to considering options and models for participation in the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) after we have left the EU, but any final decision shall form part of the wider withdrawal negotiations. We have also argued strongly during the current negotiations of the EDIDP draft Regulation that it should be open to third country industrial participation, and that it complements other cooperative programmes, including those developed through NATO.

30 Nov 2017, 5:10 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the role of the UK will be in the EU Battlegroup system after the UK has left the EU and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK's provisional offer to be on the EU Battlegroup roster as a Framework Nation in the second half of 2019 has not been confirmed.

The exact nature of the UK's relationship with the EU and commitments post 2019 are to be determined as part of the negotiations as we leave. Until then we will continue to take a full and active part in EU discussions.

We remain committed to European peace security.

30 Nov 2017, 5:10 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK personnel are currently posted in EU defence and security roles.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

As at 28 November 2017, there are 16 UK personnel posted in EU defence and security roles.

30 Nov 2017, 4:26 p.m. European Investment Bank Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any future UK liabilities towards the European Investment Bank arise from EU Permanent Structured Cooperation; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The aim of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. Under PESCO, groups of participating Member States can work together to pursue specific capability projects. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis. It is not a Common Security and Defence Policy operation or mission and there is no operational headquarters.

At the 13 November Foreign Affairs Council with Defence Ministers, 23 Member States signed a notification letter as the first step in the establishment of PESCO. It is expected that PESCO will be launched at the Foreign Affairs Council in December but there are several details yet to be decided including funding arrangements, and prioritisation and governance arrangements for PESCO projects.

The UK did not sign the notification letter but the Government supports the ambition to develop military capabilities that address the shortfalls in EU and NATO contexts. We welcome PESCO as a tool to support the development of capabilities that Europe needs for its security, provided it remains complementary to NATO and encourages EU-NATO cooperation.

Our bilateral Defence cooperation with Member States, including France through the Lancaster House Treaties, is in the interest of the whole of Europe, and PESCO will not change that. We believe that PESCO must be designed in a way that promotes an open and competitive European Defence industry. We are encouraging Member States to develop PESCO to be open to third country participation where there is clear value in doing so. Projects carried out under PESCO arrangements should remain Member State-owned and the capabilities delivered should be available not only to the EU but can also be used in support of NATO and UN operations. PESCO does not affect independent organisations such as the European Air Group.

We continue to engage in the development of PESCO and our approach reflects our commitment to European defence and security, and protecting the interests of UK industry.

30 Nov 2017, 4:26 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to provide operational headquarters for EU permanent structured cooperation; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The aim of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. Under PESCO, groups of participating Member States can work together to pursue specific capability projects. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis. It is not a Common Security and Defence Policy operation or mission and there is no operational headquarters.

At the 13 November Foreign Affairs Council with Defence Ministers, 23 Member States signed a notification letter as the first step in the establishment of PESCO. It is expected that PESCO will be launched at the Foreign Affairs Council in December but there are several details yet to be decided including funding arrangements, and prioritisation and governance arrangements for PESCO projects.

The UK did not sign the notification letter but the Government supports the ambition to develop military capabilities that address the shortfalls in EU and NATO contexts. We welcome PESCO as a tool to support the development of capabilities that Europe needs for its security, provided it remains complementary to NATO and encourages EU-NATO cooperation.

Our bilateral Defence cooperation with Member States, including France through the Lancaster House Treaties, is in the interest of the whole of Europe, and PESCO will not change that. We believe that PESCO must be designed in a way that promotes an open and competitive European Defence industry. We are encouraging Member States to develop PESCO to be open to third country participation where there is clear value in doing so. Projects carried out under PESCO arrangements should remain Member State-owned and the capabilities delivered should be available not only to the EU but can also be used in support of NATO and UN operations. PESCO does not affect independent organisations such as the European Air Group.

We continue to engage in the development of PESCO and our approach reflects our commitment to European defence and security, and protecting the interests of UK industry.

30 Nov 2017, 4:26 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on the future of the European Air Group and EU Permanent Structured Cooperation after the UK has left the EU.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The aim of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. Under PESCO, groups of participating Member States can work together to pursue specific capability projects. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis. It is not a Common Security and Defence Policy operation or mission and there is no operational headquarters.

At the 13 November Foreign Affairs Council with Defence Ministers, 23 Member States signed a notification letter as the first step in the establishment of PESCO. It is expected that PESCO will be launched at the Foreign Affairs Council in December but there are several details yet to be decided including funding arrangements, and prioritisation and governance arrangements for PESCO projects.

The UK did not sign the notification letter but the Government supports the ambition to develop military capabilities that address the shortfalls in EU and NATO contexts. We welcome PESCO as a tool to support the development of capabilities that Europe needs for its security, provided it remains complementary to NATO and encourages EU-NATO cooperation.

Our bilateral Defence cooperation with Member States, including France through the Lancaster House Treaties, is in the interest of the whole of Europe, and PESCO will not change that. We believe that PESCO must be designed in a way that promotes an open and competitive European Defence industry. We are encouraging Member States to develop PESCO to be open to third country participation where there is clear value in doing so. Projects carried out under PESCO arrangements should remain Member State-owned and the capabilities delivered should be available not only to the EU but can also be used in support of NATO and UN operations. PESCO does not affect independent organisations such as the European Air Group.

We continue to engage in the development of PESCO and our approach reflects our commitment to European defence and security, and protecting the interests of UK industry.

30 Nov 2017, 4:26 p.m. EU Defence Policy Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect EU Permanent Structured Cooperation the Lancaster House agreement.

Answer (Mr Tobias Ellwood)

The aim of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is to strengthen EU Member States' cooperation in military matters. Under PESCO, groups of participating Member States can work together to pursue specific capability projects. PESCO is voluntary and works on an opt-in basis. It is not a Common Security and Defence Policy operation or mission and there is no operational headquarters.

At the 13 November Foreign Affairs Council with Defence Ministers, 23 Member States signed a notification letter as the first step in the establishment of PESCO. It is expected that PESCO will be launched at the Foreign Affairs Council in December but there are several details yet to be decided including funding arrangements, and prioritisation and governance arrangements for PESCO projects.

The UK did not sign the notification letter but the Government supports the ambition to develop military capabilities that address the shortfalls in EU and NATO contexts. We welcome PESCO as a tool to support the development of capabilities that Europe needs for its security, provided it remains complementary to NATO and encourages EU-NATO cooperation.

Our bilateral Defence cooperation with Member States, including France through the Lancaster House Treaties, is in the interest of the whole of Europe, and PESCO will not change that. We believe that PESCO must be designed in a way that promotes an open and competitive European Defence industry. We are encouraging Member States to develop PESCO to be open to third country participation where there is clear value in doing so. Projects carried out under PESCO arrangements should remain Member State-owned and the capabilities delivered should be available not only to the EU but can also be used in support of NATO and UN operations. PESCO does not affect independent organisations such as the European Air Group.

We continue to engage in the development of PESCO and our approach reflects our commitment to European defence and security, and protecting the interests of UK industry.

3 Nov 2017, 2:37 p.m. Poaching Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 31 October 2017 to Question 109460, on poaching, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the number of UK Armed Forces personnel engaged in training and mentoring rangers in areas where poaching takes place.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

No assessment has yet been made on the potential merits of increasing the number of UK Armed Forces personnel engaged in training and mentoring rangers.

Further to my answer of 31 October 2017 to Question 109460, on poaching, Liwonde National Park in Malawi was selected for a pilot project to test our methodology. Once the Pilot has concluded, we will conduct an evaluation of our approach and, where appropriate, make recommendations for subsequent training and mentoring activity.

31 Oct 2017, 4:12 p.m. Poaching Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what training and assistance the UK armed forces are providing to support anti-poaching patrols in other countries.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

A team of seven UK Armed Forces personnel have been providing training and mentoring to African Parks rangers since August in Liwonde National Park, Malawi.

In November a short term training team of 11 UK Armed Forces personnel will travel to Gabon, to train up to 60 rangers from the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux in counter-poaching patrolling skills.

30 Oct 2017, 4:14 p.m. Army Reserve Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made on increasing the size of the Army Reserve to 30,000 personnel.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

As at 1 September 2017, the Army Reserve - Future Reserves 2020* total strength was 30,280. This is an increase of 1,000 personnel since 1 September 2016.

* Future Reserves 2020 includes volunteer reserves who are mobilised, high readiness reserves and those volunteer reserves serving on Full Time Reserve Service and Additional Duties Commitment. Sponsored reserves, who provide a more cost effective solution than volunteer reserves, are also included.

12 Sep 2017, 4:39 p.m. Navy: Guided Weapons Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the missile defence capabilities of the Royal Navy in light of the recent advances in the development of hypersonic missiles by Russia.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The Royal Navy (RN) continually assess their defensive capabilities against all potential threats.

We do not comment on the specific force protection measures employed by the RN as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

11 Jul 2017, 3:09 p.m. North Korea: Nuclear Weapons Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential threat of North Korea's possession of nuclear missiles to the UK.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has repeatedly stated its intention to develop and deploy nuclear weapons and has conducted ballistic missile tests in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. The Department regularly updates its assessments of such programmes and the threat they may pose, but these assessments are not made public. We condemn the DPRK's continued actions and maintain our position, urging the country to comply with its international obligations and refrain from further actions in contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions.

3 Jul 2017, 3:24 p.m. Army Andrew Rosindell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what total savings his Department has made as a result of reducing British Army personnel since the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The projected total savings as a result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 and work undertaken in 2011 to reduce the number of Regular Army personnel was £10.6 billion between 2011-12 and 2021-22.