EU defence policy

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on European Union defence policy. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
19.10.2016Defence and security after Brexit: a reading list
The Commons Library has compiled a selection of analysis and comment on defence and security related matters, relevant to the UK's forthcoming withdrawal from the European Union.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
04.07.2016NATO Summit Warsaw 2016: a primer
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks ahead to the NATO Summit in Warsaw on 8-9th July 2016. Topping the agenda is NATO's response to Russia, instability in the Middle East and North Africa, and defence spending.
08.06.2016Mali: June 2016 update
In 2012-13 Mali experienced a massive political and security crisis from which it has been struggling to recover. This briefing provides a quick overview of that crisis, what has happened since then and what the UK's role has been.
09.02.2016EU referendum: UK's EU reform negotiations and the Tusk package
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the Prime Minister's proposals for EU reform, which he set out in a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in November 2015, concerning four broad areas: economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and free movement. It also looks at Donald Tusk's package of draft texts to address UK concerns, their implications and prospects for agreement.
18.11.2015France and Article 42(7) of the Treaty on the European Union
In response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris France invoked Article 42(7) of the Treaty in the European Union on 17 November 2015. That article obligates all EU Member States to provide France with aid and assistance, although it does not go so far as to confer a security commitment, akin to NATO's Article V. This paper looks briefly at Article 42(7) TEU and the implications for the UK.
04.12.2013The EU's Common Security and Defence Policy: A Fresh Impetus?
The European Council Summit is due to be held on 19-20 December 2013. Among the main issues for debate is the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It will be the first time in five years that EU leaders have comprehensively discussed EU defence policy, amid criticisms that CSDP has lost momentum due to a lack of consensus over its strategic direction, an unwillingness on the part of Member States to commit the necessary resources and the prevailing economic crisis which has seen defence budgets fall across Europe and capabilities cut.
01.07.2013Leaving the EU
The Treaty on European Union provides for a Member State to leave the EU, either on the basis of a negotiated withdrawal agreement or without one. If the UK were to leave the EU following a referendum, it is likely that the Government would negotiate an agreement with the EU, which would probably contain transitional arrangements as well as provide for the UK's long-term future relations with the EU. There is no precedent for such an agreement, but it would in all likelihood come at the end of complex and lengthy negotiations.
01.11.2012European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Bill [Bill 76 of 2012-13]
Croatia is expected to join the EU in July 2013. This Bill would allow the UK to ratify Croatia's accession treaty and would also cover the Protocol to the Lisbon Treaty put forward by the Irish Government.
27.06.2012EU bibliographies: Defence equipment Directives
This note brings together documents relevant to legislation and the draft directives on EC defence equipment.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
13.10.2016Leaving the European Union: Foreign and Security Policy Cooperation
On 20 October 2016, the House of Lords will debate the implications of the EU referendum for foreign and security policy cooperation with European countries. Theresa May and members of her Cabinet have stated that they intend for the UK to continue to cooperate closely with EU partners on areas such as security, defence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism after leaving the EU, although it is not yet clear exactly what form such cooperation may take.
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 2: Foreign and European Affairs, International Development and Defence
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
27.11.2015United Kingdom's Role in Supporting International Security and Stability
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 3 December 2015: "that this House takes note of the United Kingdom's role in supporting international security and stability in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review".

POSTnotes

DateDescription
22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
17.05.2011The EU internal security strategy.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
18.01.2011Future inter-parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign, defence and security policy.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
12.01.2011Future inter-parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign, defence and security policy.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Feature publication

The page highlights the analysis and comment on Brexit: the next steps and presents an impartial view of the different arguments and opinions.

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses
 

UK Parliament committee