The Committee decided to retain the proposal under scrutiny and wrote a letter to the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, asking him:
- To provide his assessment of the mission’s specific achievements so far, with an overview of what specific actions will be undertaken during the next 18 months.
- To provide the Sub-Committee with further information about how the UK is bilaterally supporting security sector reform in Iraq.
- Whether the Government believes that the objectives set out in the Early Memorandum are sufficiently addressed by the EU Advisory Mission in Iraq.
- What gaps the proposed staff increase is seeking to address to make the mission more effective. What expertise the additional staff are expected to bring and what work they would undertake.
- Whether the UK would be interested in participating in the mission as a third country after Brexit?
- What plans the UK Government has made for its bilateral relations with Iraq after Brexit?
The Committee cleared the proposal from scrutiny on 15 November 2018.
Letters from the Minister
Within his letter, the Minister states that:
- So far, the mission has provided strategic advice on a range of civilian matters. The mission has also directly contributed to efforts to prevent further conflict, provided strategic coordination and coherence with other international actors in Iraq, established a mapping function to identify opportunities for future EU engagement on security sector reform, and has promoted human rights and gender equality.
- The UK Government’s assessment is that the mission made effective progress in its first year.
- Bilaterally, the British Embassy Baghdad is advising Iraqi decision-makers on a governance framework that promotes formal Iraqi structures and appropriate command and control. The UK is also promoting the professionalism of the Ministry of Peshmerga through a reform programme, which should support Iraq’s security and territorial integrity. The UK Ministry of Defence is working directly with the Iraqi Ministry of Defence to increase its offer of professional training courses in the UK.
Please see the letter to the Sub-Committee for the Minister’s full response.
Letters to the Minister