Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Mali: Peacekeeping Operations
Commons
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.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 29 July 2019

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).

UN Mission Update (Word Document, 29.17 KB)
Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
Commons
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.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 29 July 2019

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.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
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.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 29 July 2019

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.

Q
Asked by Nick Smith
(Blaenau Gwent)
Asked on: 19 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Army
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the hon. Member for Blenau Gwent's oral contribution of 8 July 2019, Official Report, column 11, when the full-time trained strength target for the Army will be reached.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 25 July 2019

As I said to the hon. Member on 8 July, it is difficult to put an exact date on when the Army will reach its full trade trained strength. However, the Army have a series of initiatives in place aimed at improving both recruitment and retention. These are starting to yield benefits but ensuring the Army is at the appropriate size requires sustained effort and investment. However, most importantly the Army continues to meet all of its operational commitments that keep Britain safe.

Q
Asked by Stephen Twigg
(Liverpool, West Derby)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any of the weapons used in the airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on Al-Kubra Hall in Sanhan, Yemen on 8 October 2016 were supplied by British companies under licence from the Government.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 25 July 2019

This information is not held.The UK is not a member of the Saudi-Led Coalition. We do not have any role in setting Coalition policy, or executing air strikes in Yemen.

Grouped Questions: 280117 | 280118
Q
Asked by Stephen Twigg
(Liverpool, West Derby)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any of the aircraft used in the airstrike by the Saudi-led collation on Al-Kubra Hall in Sanhan, Yemen on 8 October 2016 were supplied by British companies under licence from the Government.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 25 July 2019

This information is not held.The UK is not a member of the Saudi-Led Coalition. We do not have any role in setting Coalition policy, or executing air strikes in Yemen.

Grouped Questions: 280116 | 280118
Q
Asked by Stephen Twigg
(Liverpool, West Derby)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any of the personnel involved in the airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on Al-Kubra Hall in Sanhan, Yemen on 8 October 2016 had previously received training in international humanitarian law from UK personnel.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 25 July 2019

This information is not held.The UK is not a member of the Saudi-Led Coalition. We do not have any role in setting Coalition policy, or executing air strikes in Yemen.

Grouped Questions: 280116 | 280117
Q
(Mid Sussex)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 22 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Turkey: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what representations she has made to her Turkish counterpart on the implications for their NATO membership of their purchase of a Russian Anti-Air System.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 25 July 2019

My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Defence (Penny Mordaunt) met with Turkey's Defence Minister in Brussels last month, when she raised our concerns about Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system. Turkey is a valued NATO Ally, and while we are disappointed that Turkey has chosen to acquire the S-400 we remain committed to our strategic partnership. We will continue to discuss our concerns with Turkey.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Gibraltar: Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to increase the armed forces presence in Gibraltar.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 24 July 2019

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

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Ascension Island: Airports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made in the resurfacing of the runway on Ascension Island.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 24 July 2019

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.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Falkland Islands: Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to increase the armed forces presence in the Falkland Islands.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 24 July 2019

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

Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Autonomous Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of supporting a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 24 July 2019

The United Kingdom does not support a ban on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems .The UK considers its extant legal and regulatory framework for the development, assurance and deployment of military systems to be sufficient to ensure that the capabilities we field will always meet our obligations under international law.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
HMS Queen Elizabeth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure the safety of those who serve on HMS Queen Elizabeth.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The safety of all Armed Forces personnel is paramount at all times in planning and conducting our operations.

All personnel who embark in Royal Navy warships (including HMS Queen Elizabeth) are trained in their core roles, including the operation of equipment, to safely operate in all environments to minimise the risk of accidents. Additionally, they undergo assured training to be able to deal with incidents should they occur including fire, flood, damage control and medical/first aid.

Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 12 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Tankers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Tide-Class tankers (a) Tidesurge, (b) Tidespring, (c) Tidewave and (d) Tideforce completed their first Replenishment At Sea exercise.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 17 July 2019

Each Tide Class tanker conducted their first Replenishment at Sea on the following dates:

RFA TIDESPRING replenished RFA WAVE KNIGHT on 13 November 2017.

RFA TIDERACE replenished HMS SOMERSET on 21 July 2018.

RFA TIDESURGE replenished HMS DEFENDER on 16 February 2019.

RFA TIDEFORCE replenished RFA FORT VICTORIA on 1-2 May 2019.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many full-time personnel are currently in the three branches of the UK's armed forces.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

The Ministry of Defence publishes quarterly Service Personnel statistics which include the requested information. The latest edition, with figures as at 1 April 2019, can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-2019

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Military Exercises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for the conclusion of Operation Sea Breeze.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

Exercise SEA BREEZE concluded on 12 July 2019.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Estonia: Military Exercises
Commons
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.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

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.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Army Reserve: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps she is taking to increase the integration of Army Reserve units in training exercises.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

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.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Army Reserve: Training
Commons
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.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

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.

Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 11 July 2019
Ministry of Defence
Arctic: Defence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when she plans to publish the Defence Arctic Strategy.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 July 2019

The Strategy, which will be titled The UK's Defence Contribution in the High North, will be published shortly.

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