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
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 07 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Australia: Military Alliances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for the Royal Navy of the Joint Guidance for the RAN-RN Relationship signed by the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Royal Australian Navy on 28 November 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 13 December 2018

The Joint Guidance, signed by the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, will increase dialogue and information sharing, particularly in the field of Anti-Submarine Warfare. This will promote interoperability and further our nations' shared values.

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: 10 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Saudi Arabia: Joint Exercises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what joint military exercises the UK armed forces plan to undertake with Saudi Arabia.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 13 December 2018

UK Armed Forces have two exercises planned with Saudi Arabia: a Royal Navy Passage Exercise between 3-7 February 2019 and the Army will conduct a table-top planning exercise (Exercise DESERT SOLDIER) from 29 March-14 April 2019.

Q
(Glasgow 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: 10 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Saudi Arabia: Joint Exercises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF personnel took part in the Green Flag Exercise with the Royal Saudi Air Force; for what reason that exercise took place; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 13 December 2018

Exercise Saudi British Green Flag is a regular training event, designed to demonstrate the UK's commitment to regional security and is an opportunity to show how the UK and Saudi Arabia can work together if required. The latest iteration involved 208 RAF personnel.

Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
Asked on: 05 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Defence: Arctic
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State for the Armed Forces of 26 November 2018, Official Report, column 14, which stakeholders he is consulting on the development of the UK Defence Arctic Strategy.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2018

A wide range of UK Government and international stakeholders are being consulted. Inputs are being gathered from a wide cross-section of the Ministry of Defence, including the Armed Forces and across Whitehall, including key stakeholders in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department of Transport and the Cabinet Office.

Once initial UK Government positions have been considered, we will engage extensively with international allies and partners, to ensure that the strategy effectively addresses their perspectives and priorities.

This stakeholder engagement builds on the Department's existing engagement with academic institutions and think tanks which have assisted in the development of its position on the Arctic to date.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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: 07 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
EU Battlegroups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether UK defence forces will participate in EU Battlegroups in 2019-20.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2018

Subject to a deal on the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will be able to continue to participate in certain EU missions and operations on a case-by-case basis, where it is in our mutual interest to do so, during the transition period. There are no plans to commit forces to the EU Battlegroup during this period.

Q
(New Forest East)
[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: 29 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
NATO
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contribution the Government is (a) making and (b) has plans to make to NATO's (i) new Command in Norfolk, (ii) new Command in Ulm, (iii) Counter Hybrid Support Teams, (iv) Cyber Operations Centre, (v) Hub for the South in Naples and (vi) capacity building programmes in (A) Iraq, (B) Jordan and (C) Tunisia.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The UK remains committed to NATO and to Euro-Atlantic security. We were a leading proponent of the decision made at the Warsaw Summit in 2016 to recognise cyberspace as a domain of operations and will continue to support its full implementation, and play an active role in supporting the development of NATO's Cyber Operations centre. The UK is also engaged with NATO's efforts to project stability across the Middle East and North Africa region through our southern partnerships and the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building initiative. Discussions within NATO regarding the exact nature of individual Allies' contributions to its new Commands in Norfolk and Ulm, and to the Counter Hybrid Support Teams, are still ongoing. Once this information becomes available, I will write to my right hon. Friend with further detail.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 03 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Army: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many army recruits have enlisted from each parliamentary constituency since 2013; and how many of those recruits from each constituency were aged under 18.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The information requested is set out in the attached table. Figures represent Regular and FR20 Reserve recruits (officers and other ranks) by parliamentary constituency, including those aged under 18 at the time of recruitment, between Apr 13 and Apr 18. Under 18 figures apply to Regular enlistments only, as the minimum age a potential reservist can initiate the recruitment process is 17 years and 9 months. Data is based on their recorded contact address.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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: 06 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
EU Defence Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK will continue to participate in the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The UK supports the EU's Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and has participated in the pilot stage. The CARD currently does not directly provide for Third Country involvement. However, the recent Political Declaration on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU sets out our shared vision of close and lasting cooperation on external action, including cooperation on defence capabilities development.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 04 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Burma: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) full military titles and (b) names of the Burmese military personnel that visited the UK to undertake UK Government funded defence educational training courses in 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The personal details of individuals who have attended UK defence training courses in the past constitutes personal data that cannot be released.

In September 2017 the UK announced the suspension of its programme of practical defence cooperation with Burma, including the suspension of all defence educational training courses, until there is an acceptable resolution to the situation in Rakhine. The UK's previous programme of defence cooperation and training focused on governance, accountability, ethics, human rights and international law training. It did not include any form of combat training for the Burmese military.

Grouped Questions: 198825 | 198826
Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 04 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Burma: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) full military titles and (b) names of the Burmese military personnel that visited the UK to undertake UK Government funded defence educational training courses in 2016.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The personal details of individuals who have attended UK defence training courses in the past constitutes personal data that cannot be released.

In September 2017 the UK announced the suspension of its programme of practical defence cooperation with Burma, including the suspension of all defence educational training courses, until there is an acceptable resolution to the situation in Rakhine. The UK's previous programme of defence cooperation and training focused on governance, accountability, ethics, human rights and international law training. It did not include any form of combat training for the Burmese military.

Grouped Questions: 198824 | 198826
Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 04 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Burma: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) full military titles and (b) names of the Burmese military personnel that visited the UK to undertake the course entitled Managing Defence in a Wider Security Context in 2014.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The personal details of individuals who have attended UK defence training courses in the past constitutes personal data that cannot be released.

In September 2017 the UK announced the suspension of its programme of practical defence cooperation with Burma, including the suspension of all defence educational training courses, until there is an acceptable resolution to the situation in Rakhine. The UK's previous programme of defence cooperation and training focused on governance, accountability, ethics, human rights and international law training. It did not include any form of combat training for the Burmese military.

Grouped Questions: 198824 | 198825
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: 04 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Defence Fire and Rescue Service: Capita
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the financial status of Capita on its ability to fulfil the contract for the Defence Fire and Rescue Service.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The Department monitors the financial health of all its major suppliers both before award and throughout the life of a contract. Capita's bid for the provision of the Defence Fire and Rescue project was subject to the fullest range of scrutiny within Government, including an assessment of their financial sustainability and their ability to deliver the required services. This assessment remains valid. Any contract is actively managed to provide early warning of any performance concerns.

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: 05 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Commonwealth: Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his oral contribution of 26 November 2018, Official Report, column 3, what the evidential basis is of his estimate that up to 1,350 Commonwealth citizens will join the armed forces in 2019.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 10 December 2018

On 5 November 2018, I announced (HCWS1062) the removal of the five-year UK residency criterion for Commonwealth citizens wishing to join the Armed Forces to enable the recruitment of up to 1,350 per year. We know from the recruitment that we have continued to do from the Commonwealth over recent years that many Commonwealth citizens aspire to join the Armed Forces where they make an outstanding contribution. Our recruitment plans will see the numbers joining rising upwards to 1,350 per year over the next few years as this change takes full effect.

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: 03 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
EU Defence Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which European Union Permanent Structured Cooperation projects the UK plans to participate in after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 06 December 2018

The UK has not joined Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), but recognises its potential to support increased defence investment in Europe and the development of capabilities that contribute to NATO. The Government is scrutinising the current list of PESCO projects to identify which of those we might have an interest in, or be able to add value to, as a third country. Our future participation is subject to the rules governing third country access that are still being negotiated by PESCO Participating Member States.

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: 03 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Afghanistan: Parachute Regiment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Parachute Regiment personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan in a combat role.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 06 December 2018

Since 1 January 2015, the UK has been part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission which is a non-combat mission to Train, Advise and Assist Afghan security institutions and the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF). The Parachute Regiment currently contribute personnel to the Kabul Security force (KSF) under this mission. The KSF's primary role is to secure and enable the mentoring and training activity by the international community. The KSF also mentors parts of the ANDSF directly.

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: 03 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Saudi Arabia: Military Alliances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what joint military operations the UK armed forces plans to undertake with Saudi Arabia.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 06 December 2018

The UK Armed Forces have no plans for joint military operations with Saudi Arabia.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
Asked on: 26 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
British Indian Ocean Territory: Navy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of the Royal Navy's nuclear (a) armed and (b) powered surface or submarine vessels have entered the waters of the British Indian Ocean Territory since the Marine Protected Area was established.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 04 December 2018

The Royal Navy only operates nuclear powered submarines, some of which are nuclear armed.

It is UK policy that we do not routinely comment on matters relating to submarine activity or operations. However, as previously confirmed HMS Trenchant visited Diego Garcia in 2012.

Q
Asked by Heidi Allen
(South Cambridgeshire)
Asked on: 26 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
Argentina: Wrecks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if the Royal Navy will assist in the recovery and repatriation of Argentinian sailors from the submarine San Juan.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 04 December 2018

Since the San Juan was located, the Ministry of Defence has not been appraoched by Argentina to assist in the recovery or repatriarion of the submarine's crew. If our assistance were to be requested, the UK does not currently have the capability to recover a vessel at the reported depth of the San Juan without contractor support.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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: 29 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
Iraq: NATO
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support the NATO training mission in Iraq.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 04 December 2018

The UK welcomed the launch of the NATO Training Mission Iraq at the Brussels Summit in 2018. We are commited to supporting the training mission through the deployment of the UK civilian and military personnel including a senior civilian adviser and other personnel as part of the NATO Communications and Information Systems Support Group, on rotation with other allies.

Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Ministry of Defence
EU Defence Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions his EU counterpart on the UK's participation in European Union Permanent Structured Cooperation projects after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 04 December 2018

Ministry of Defence Ministers discuss a range of issues with our European counterparts including this, which was most recently discussed at the November Foreign Affairs Council (Defence).

The UK supports PESCO, although we have not joined it, recognising its potential to increase European defence investment and develop capabilities to complement the work of NATO.

The UK is not part of PESCO and our participation in any projects is subject to the conclusion of negotiations for third state participation.

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