COMMONS

Future of Welsh Regiments

05 July 2012

Commenting on today’s Ministry of Defence statement on the future of the Welsh Regiments,  Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee David TC Davies MP said:

“We very much welcome the decision to keep at least the First Queen’s Dragoon Guards, and we commend the well run and positive campaign by veterans of that regiment who have worked with Members of Parliament and the Welsh Affairs Committee to explain the case for saving the regiment, and we hope that our investigation has contributed to this positive result.

“However, we very much regret the decision to lose the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh. Because of the extremely short notice and uncertainty over this decision, we have this morning been taking evidence on these decisions, right up to the Minister’s statement.
 
“We are very disappointed that the Ministry of Defence chose not to come and give evidence, but we have heard this morning from independent defence experts who told us that, based on proportionality, cost and recruitment considerations, they would in fact cut several battalions of the Scottish regiments, and of the Gurkhas, and we are concerned that this decision to cut a Welsh battalion may be at least partly politically motivated.

“We heard that 98% of the Royal Welsh is drawn from within Wales, and in some families service to the regiment goes back many generations. The impact on families and communities across Wales, as well as on morale in the regiments more widely, will be enormous. Once severed in this way, the links to the community, and their support, will be very difficult to rebuild.

“We will be conveying our grave concerns about this decision to the MoD and it may be for the Defence Committee to continue to work on these issues.”

Image: iStockphoto

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