Parliamentary Questions

BooksIndicative of increasing attention is the rise in number of questions asked by Parliamentarians. We track and analyse all drones-related Parliamentary Questions.

The table below is regularly updated.  Further information can be found at Hansard.

 

 

DATE
QUESTION
ASKED BY
RESPONSE
URL
Coding
Location
12 May 2021Will the Minister demand that the Israelis end all the discriminatory and illegal practices that have actually provoked these current tensions? What specifically will he do to ensure accountability for violations of international law, which have been going on for the past 50 years?Yasmin Qureshi, Lab, Bolton South EastAs I say, the UK’s position on the settlements and evictions is clear. I have spoken about it from this Dispatch Box today and in the past, and we have also had that conversation directly with the Israeli Government. However, there is no legitimacy and no justification for indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-05-12/debates/5CB9BFF2-D70C-44FB-988B-425CDC0FEA6B/ViolenceInIsraelAndPalestine?highlight=indiscriminate%20attack#contribution-BA57B36B-7151-464F-BB19-2D177562B881indiscriminate attacks; IHL; IHL violations; Israel; Palestine
12 May 2021can the Minister tell me whether he thinks it appropriate that the UK grants arms licences that see UK weapons being used in these indiscriminate Israeli attacks on civilians, including children?Gavin Newlands, SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire NorthThe Government take their arms export responsibilities very seriously, and we aim to operate one of the most robust arms export licences in the world. We consider all our export applications against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-05-12/debates/5CB9BFF2-D70C-44FB-988B-425CDC0FEA6B/ViolenceInIsraelAndPalestine?highlight=indiscriminate%20attack#contribution-BA57B36B-7151-464F-BB19-2D177562B881indiscriminate attacks; UK assets; IHL violations; UK complicity; Israel; Palestine
4 March 2021Yesterday, 10 rockets targeted an Iraqi military base—the Al Asad airbase hosting coalition troops. One contractor, sadly, died in the attack and 10 British personnel were, thankfully, unharmed. What discussions have the Government had about this incident and what assessment has the Foreign Secretary made of the ongoing threat to British and coalition forces [deployed in Iraq]?Lisa Nandy, Labour, WiganShe also referred to recent attacks on coalition forces. Of course, they involve both Daesh and Shi’a militias. Our approach is to work closely with coalition forces, but the big step change that we are seeing is the reinforcement of the capability of the Iraqi security forces. We will continue to work on that, ultimately for a long-term sustainable and better future for the Iraqi people. That is the course that we need to pursue.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-03-04/debates/DC3BD59C-F7E3-41B3-885B-5932C6EDD817/Counter-DaeshUpdate?highlight=operation%20shader#contribution-5D6EA4D5-7825-4411-B98E-EDEC61CD42CFassets and deployment; UK troops in Iraq; personnel embedded with partners
4 March 2021I know my right hon. Friend will join me in congratulating Karim Khan on his appointment as chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, but he will also know the painstaking work he was doing through UNITAD—the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL—in Iraq in bringing to trial the war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated by Daesh against, specifically, the Yazidis. Could he say what support his Department [FOC] continues to provide to UNITAD in its work in this regard?Laura Farris, Conservative, NewburyWe fully support UNITAD’s work, and I thank her for raising this. We have provided £2 million for the UN investigative team for the accountability of Daesh particularly, and that obviously helps support the investigations of violence against minority communities and, critically, helps witnesses and survivors come forward with evidence.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-03-04/debates/DC3BD59C-F7E3-41B3-885B-5932C6EDD817/Counter-DaeshUpdate?highlight=operation%20shader#contribution-5D6EA4D5-7825-4411-B98E-EDEC61CD42CFInternational Humanitarian Law; war crimes; investigations into IHL violations; Iraq
5 July 2021What contribution [are] UK armed forces making to counter-Daesh operations in Syria and Iraq[?]Mr Marcus Fysh, Conservative, Yeovil; Royston Smith, Conservative, SouthamptonOur armed forces continue to provide support to the Iraqi Government in tackling the threat posed by Daesh. The RAF has flown more than 8,700 sorties and released more than 4,300 precision weapons to target Daesh in Iraq and Syria. On the ground, we have trained in excess of 120,000 Iraqi and Kurdish personnel in everything from engineering to countering improvised explosive devices. We remain wholly committed to the coalition and supporting our ally Iraq in countering Daesh.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-07-05/debates/67346738-849E-429E-8A2D-DC39742F0F33/Counter-DaeshOperationsSyriaAndIraq?highlight=operation%20shader#contribution-796F8EE6-2595-4C41-9355-A017CF9D2CEFassets and deployments; UK Troops in Iraq; UK Troops in Syria; RAF
5 July 2021What conclusions have our Ministers and strategists drawn from our use of military force from outside the borders of states such as Syria and Iraq that might help to prevent the re-emergence of Afghanistan as a base and a launchpad for international terrorism campaigns like those of Daesh and al-Qaeda following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan?Dr Julian Lewis, Conservative, New Forest EastMy right hon. Friend knows from our previous exchanges on this matter that we have absolutely reserved the right to counter terrorist threats to the United Kingdom that may re-emerge in Afghanistan. He is absolutely right to point us towards an outside-in model such as that prosecuted from Cyprus in support of Operation Shader. That is very much in the thoughts of those who are planning for that eventuality in Afghanistanhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-07-05/debates/67346738-849E-429E-8A2D-DC39742F0F33/Counter-DaeshOperationsSyriaAndIraq?highlight=operation%20shader#contribution-796F8EE6-2595-4C41-9355-A017CF9D2CEFOperation Shader; assets and deployments; UK troops in Afghanistan
21 January 2021 While not wishing to be fixed in any particular mission, can my noble friend the Minister reassure us that the overall recent increase in support to UN missions will persist?Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton, Conservative I can reassure my noble friend and the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Newnham, that humanitarian response and United Nation peacekeeping will continue to be an important component of the MoD’s engagement activity. As my noble friend is right to point out, the integrated review proposes a transformation in the Armed Forces to increase our presence and engagement across the world. Two important components of this will be agility and persistence. It is vital that the Armed Forces are flexibly deployed into the situations where they can deliver the greatest value, whether this be supporting United Nations peacekeeping and French counterterrorism operations in Mali, or delivering humanitarian aid to the Caribbean. https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2021-01-21/debates/BEC8CEA7-4D62-4782-9F45-98F981B1F811/BritishArmedForcesGlobalBritain?highlight=deployed%20belize#contribution-3E703A07-251D-4B78-9EE0-ECA50D52C649assets and deployments; UN Peacekeeping Missions; stabilisation units
14 December 2020Overall, this is clearly a welcome mission, [referring to UK's deployment of troops as a part of UN peacekeeping mission in Mali] even if it is very unfortunate that Mali requires such intervention. It is welcome that the UK continues to play a global role. It is also notable that so much of that role is with our allies, including France and Sweden. Can the Minister reassure the House that, as we move forward, such security relationships will continue to be as deep and fully fledged as they have been? Those relations matter, regardless of the UK’s relations with the European Union. If the deployment to Mali fully reflects what our service men and women should be doing, sending the Navy to deal with French fishermen is perhaps not the best use of our resources.The noble Lord also raised the important issue of how we work with other forces from contributing countries and allies. Indeed, the noble Baroness also talked about that and about our security relationships. I commend them both: they have touched on something really significant. At the heart of this is the fact that we are part of a United Nations mission and we are proud to play our role. We want to be a positive influence to help those countries that have suffered such insurgency and insurrection, particularly Mali, to move on to a better and more stable course. We want that because it is good not just for Mali but for the broader security of the region and the world at large. As the noble Lord alluded to, if we can bring greater stability to that area, we can begin to introduce more robust political processes. If we look at the country’s infrastructure, a great deal of progress has been made in taking the country forward.

The noble Lord and the noble Baroness will be aware that we work closely with France in particular. We are part of the Operation Barkhane mission, which is operative in the Sahel. Unlike MINUSMA, Barkhane is a counterterrorism mission, of course. It has a different purpose but it is an example of the importance of working with allies whom we know well, with whom we get on and with whom we are very proud to work in partnership to improve the overall situation.
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDassets and deployments; UK troops in Mali; MINUSMA; stabilisation unit
14 December 2020The Statement tells us that the region in which our troops [in Mali] are deployed is the worst place on earth to be an adolescent girl as it accounts for 7% of the world’s population of primary-age girls who are not in education. What plans, if any, do we have to help address this?Lourd Touhig, LabourIt is the case that women have been badly impacted by the consequences of the instability and turmoil. However, it is also the case that there is some cause for optimism. Over the past five years, we have seen progress. Widespread fighting between the parties has not returned, the reconstitution of a national army from members of the former armed groups and—this is the important point—the inclusion of women in the peace process, including MINUSMA’s role as mediator, have been critical to this relative stability. Important points were made about the position of women, how such civil unrest can impact on them and how we can do our best, as a contributing country, to encourage a more enhanced role for women.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDinternational humanitarian law; assistant; UK troops in Mali; MINUSMA; UN Peacekeeping
12 October 2020My Lords, following the Question from the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, and the Minister’s Answer, can he confirm the UK’s continued commitment to the principle that international humanitarian law trumps national law in situations of armed conflict, and that this applies to abortion, if sought and recommended when a woman has been raped?Baroness Northover, LibDemMy Lords, the United Kingdom remains committed to obligations of international humanitarian law and, as I said earlier, we call on other countries to respect their obligations to it. When we have differed on this issue, even from our strongest allies and at the top table—the UN Security Council—we have made known our difference and the importance of standing up for the sexual and reproductive health of all women, everywhere.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-10-12/debates/7AF18C32-7A7F-4C0A-9A9E-FC6C484AF79E/ProtectingCiviliansInArmedConflict?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-EDB4A995-732F-4A06-A7C5-103B4796688DIHL; international humanitarian law; status of IHL; violations of IHL
12 October 2020Can my noble friend the Minister tell the House whether it is still the Government’s policy to establish an independent international mechanism to investigate alleged crimes of sexual violence in conflict and what concrete progress has been made in the past two years on this?Baroness Helic, ConservativeMy Lords, while paying tribute to the work of my noble friend, let me assure her that within the context of the PSVI which I lead on for the Prime Minister, it is about strengthening justice for the survivors of sexual violence in conflict and to hold the perpetrators to account. We are seeing progress. In a survivor-centred approach, we have recently seen progress through the appointment of survivor champions. The PSVI conference, which unfortunately had to be postponed, was also focused on bringing together the expertise and insight needed to ensure that we have a centre of excellence where all the best practices can be brought together.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-10-12/debates/7AF18C32-7A7F-4C0A-9A9E-FC6C484AF79E/ProtectingCiviliansInArmedConflict?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-EDB4A995-732F-4A06-A7C5-103B4796688DIHL; IHL violations; sexual violence in conflict; investigations into IHL violations
22 July 2020For our part, the UK must continue to set an example as a world leader in protecting civilians in conflict. What steps is his Department taking, as part of the integrated review, to update its protection of civilians strategy?Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley CentralWhen we are engaged in targeting, as the hon. Gentleman will probably know, we are very, very careful to make sure that we adhere not only to international law but all the safeguards we can to ensure innocent people are not killed or put in harm’s way. At the same time, after a strike is concluded there is a wash-up, a debrief and a check back, through different methods, of what exactly happened to make sure if there are any lessons to be learned. I take incredibly seriously anything that would lead to civilians being killed. We do not help the people of Iraq by poor use of our weapons. It is appalling, and if we want to deal with Daesh we have to show we are on the side of the community, not frighten the community or indeed make mistakes that cost lives among those very people we are there to help. That is the most important thing for me. I take a very, very detailed look at it. I made sure, right from the start of being in this job, that I reviewed all the rules that we had signed up to and followed, and indeed what tolerances there were, because that is a very important obligation to any elected Member.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-22/debates/1A7E55CB-3AAC-4CDA-B62C-AE7C1B129A5E/Counter-DaeshUpdate?highlight=africa#contribution-BA90ABA1-E76F-4900-9EF3-B6FCEACFAFDAIHL; international humanitarian law; principle of distinction; pre-caution; Iraq
22 July 2020The growth of Daesh and its offshoots in Yemen depend on smuggling by sea along the Red sea and, specifically, through the port of Hodeidah. What can the Government do to ensure that the sea routes are closed to Daesh to help to bring peace to Yemen?Mrs Flick Drummond, Conservative, Meon ValleyWith our deployments in the Strait of Hormuz we participate in constabulary duties, including patrols and so on, and we work with our allies, such as the United States. Where we find intelligence or something suspicious, we try to help to ensure that that zone is not increased by weapons smuggling. Only recently, for example, the Saudis managed to interdict significant weapons supplies to the Houthi, which would have had only one effect—make the situation worse. Those supplies were interdicted and stoppedhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-22/debates/1A7E55CB-3AAC-4CDA-B62C-AE7C1B129A5E/Counter-DaeshUpdate?highlight=africa#contribution-BA90ABA1-E76F-4900-9EF3-B6FCEACFAFDAassets and deployments; navy; Yemen
22 July 2020I welcome the commitment to send UK troops to be part of MINUSMA—the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali—the most dangerous peacekeeping mission in the world. Will he reassure the House that the National Security Council is looking across government at how the UK can address the sources of conflict in the Sahel and west Africa?Harriett Baldwin, Conservative, West WorcestershireAfrica is going to be key in the next 10, 15, 20 years. It always has been important, but the spread of Islamist terrorism, through al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and Islamists in west Africa, is a real, existing threat that we have to deal with. They undermine fragile democracies and fragile countries, often those that are very poor. We cannot turn our back on Africa on these issues. Where we can, we have to support those countries to see off the threat of Islamists and help them on the path to successful economies. I know that DFID and its strategies are working to do that, and at the MOD we are doing it through training and other such things. That is why we commit to countries such as Kenya and, indeed, now to Mali.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-22/debates/1A7E55CB-3AAC-4CDA-B62C-AE7C1B129A5E/Counter-DaeshUpdate?highlight=africa#contribution-BA90ABA1-E76F-4900-9EF3-B6FCEACFAFDAassets and deployments; UK troops in Mali;
24 February 2020I welcome what the Minister said about the recent attacks on hospitals. He will be aware that there have been at least 578 such attacks on healthcare facilities, resulting in 890 deaths of medical personnel in the course of this conflict. Will the Government treat that as a war crime at the highest level, and in particular will they refute the suggestion from the Assad regime that all healthcare facilities in Idlib have been rendered inoperative and therefore are not civilian objects in terms of international humanitarian law?Mr Alistair Carmichael, LibDem, Orkney and ShetlandThe international community has a long-standing position on the targeting of both civilians and civilian facilities, and we condemn in the strongest terms—as I have said, our representative at the UN has done so—both the Assad regime and the Russians’ targeting of civilian resources and civilian establishments. We also make it clear that, while there are concerns about potential terrorists and foreign national fighters in the Idlib region, this gives no cause at all for either the Russians or the regime in Damascus to suggest that the targeting of these civilian facilities is appropriate. It is not. We condemn it and we will continue to do so.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-02-24/debates/6DE70A6E-228D-47AE-9030-D3C1AF286C0F/SyriaSecuritySituation?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-5835B9DF-1784-407A-A8A9-9786C7D20271IHL; international humanitarian law; principle of distinction; Assad regime; IHL violations; targetting; UK position on IHL
Andrew Bowie
8 February 2021The Liberal Democrats have long called for arms sales to Saudi Arabia to be suspended in response to its consistent targeting of civilians in Yemen, in clear breach of international law. The humanitarian impact of this conflict is hard to put into words. At least one child dies every 10 minutes because of preventable disease, and 100,000 children are on the brink of starving to death. On the issue of arms sales, the Minister rightly says that the US’s decision to stop selling arms was a matter for it. The matter for this House is whether we continue to sell arms, so I ask him to answer plainly: will the Government follow the example of our ally and finally stop all arms sales supporting this horrific war—yes or no?Layla Moran, LibDem, Oxford West and AbingdonThe United Kingdom takes its arms export licensing responsibilities very seriously. We will not issue any export licences for items where there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Every licence application is rigorously assessed against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-02-08/debates/DD75DAB2-90FB-42FF-B3EC-095A91F0C49B/Yemen?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-53FD67C3-F1F8-4AC0-9D1A-CADD67C3C27DIHL; breaches of IL; UK complicity; Yemen
13 July 2020The Government lost the Appeal Court case, then admitted that they had contravened the instructions given by the Appeal Court, then abandoned their own appeal to the Supreme Court, and have now decided, after abandoning the Court case, that they are going to resume arms exports. Could not the Minister at least agree to publish the reasons for the resumption of issuing licences [to Saudi forces in Yemen], with sensitive parts either taken out or redacted?John Cryer, Labour, Leyton and WansteadWe have published the reasons why we are doing the policy that we are doing. We published that in the form of a written ministerial statement to the House of Commons last week, and actually that is the subject today. On the hon. Member’s wider point about why we have withdrawn the appeal, we do not think the appeal is necessary any more. We have in place the revised methodology, and we are putting in place the process to withdraw the appeal.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-13/debates/617B65CA-CB18-4EFA-A3F9-783EC9184459/SaleOfArmsWarInYemen?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-6D6AF88E-B390-4719-B83F-8CB71F3C15ABassets and deployment; IHL; IHL violations; transparency
13 July 2020Will the Minister provide an assurance to the House that the Department will continue to investigate every possible violation of international humanitarian law in the Yemen conflict by coalition forces?Marco Longhi, Conservative, Dudley NorthMy hon. Friend raises a good question. It is worth noting, again, that the investigation process is principally a matter for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, which track allegations of incidents. However, the Government take their export responsibilities seriously and assess all export licences in accordance with the strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with the consolidated criteria.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-07-13/debates/617B65CA-CB18-4EFA-A3F9-783EC9184459/SaleOfArmsWarInYemen?highlight=international%20humanitarian%20law#contribution-6D6AF88E-B390-4719-B83F-8CB71F3C15ABassets and deployment; coalition forces; investigating IHL violations; IHL violations; Yemen; IHL
21 January 2021Does the Minister agree that our Armed Forces should continue to build closer links, with joint exercises and exchanges of personnel, with other countries...? Lord Bilimoria...over the festive period alone, more than 6,000 military personnel were deployed on 39 operations in 46 countries. That eloquently underpins the concept of global Britain. As global competition deepens, as the challenges of Covid-19 put strain on the international system, as nations seek to find an edge—through fair means and foul—we face an unprecedented and accelerating challenge. While the Armed Forces already make an indispensable contribution to our security, prosperity and values, and to global Britain, we can and will do more. We shall be more globally engaged: actively competing and collaborating to defeat and deter our adversaries, working ever more closely with allies old and new, extending our reach to new theatres and domains, and tackling global challenges to our safety and prosperity. That is why the Prime Minister announced more than £24 billion for next-generation military capability, cementing our place as a leader in NATO, defending our people from new and evolving threats, operating globally, protecting the world’s most vulnerable, and bringing jobs and prosperity to every part of the United Kingdom. That is something of which we can all be proud; it means that global Britain is not some empty piece of rhetoric but a very solid concept. The MoD and our Armed Forces are certainly demonstrating —dramatically—just how solid a concept that is and how valuable it is to the rest of the world.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2021-01-21/debates/BEC8CEA7-4D62-4782-9F45-98F981B1F811/BritishArmedForcesGlobalBritain?highlight=special%20forces#contribution-1ED98203-1C58-4DD0-B8AF-8F662507BD7Aassets and deployment; personnel embedded with partners
21 January 2021We already have a military presence on 145 sites in 45 countries. If other members of our so-called Security Council were to follow our example, our fragile world would become even more dangerously unstable. Does the Minister agree with the words of former Prime Minister Theresa May that we should stop acting as the world’s policeman?Lord MountevansThis deployment [of the UK's HMS "Queen Elizabeth" aircraft across Asia] embodies the strength of our bilateral ties and reflects the depth and breadth of this vital defence security partnership. It will include the Indo-Pacific region working together with allies to send a clear signal of our commitment to the region. But this will not be a flash-in-the-pan activity, as some of your Lordships, particularly the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, were concerned about; it is all part of a coherent approach. The deployment supports the UK’s deep and enduring defence relationships, such as the vital Five Eyes partnership, our ongoing commitment to supporting United Nations operations in the region and our desire to advance bilateral security co-operation with ASEAN nations.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2021-01-21/debates/BEC8CEA7-4D62-4782-9F45-98F981B1F811/BritishArmedForcesGlobalBritain?highlight=special%20forces#contribution-1ED98203-1C58-4DD0-B8AF-8F662507BD7Aassets and deployment; UN peacekeeping;
14 December 2020We are told that our 300-strong Light Dragoons task group [deployed in Mali] will be helping protect people from violence and encouraging political dialogue. Can the Minister tell us something about the latter role of encouraging political dialogue that our forces will engage in?Lord Touhig, LabourThe noble Lord, Lord Touhig, raised the issue of encouraging political dialogue and how we might contribute to the need for construction and engineering skills. I say to him that the whole reason that the United Kingdom is contributing to this United Nations mission in Mali is that the underlying instability means that it is very difficult, in the face of that turbulence, to move on to the more positive and constructive issues to which he refers. We recognise that while our contribution to the security response is important, security interventions alone will not address the instability in the Sahel. We continue to advocate for state-led progress on the peace process in Mali, and for political and institutional reform in the wider region, with greater ownership and leadership of reform efforts by G5 Governments. I reassure the noble Lord that he raises an important point, but the priority at the moment is trying to address the issues of instability and lack of security.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDassets and deployments; UK troops in Mali; MINUSMA; stabilisation unit
14 December 2020Returning to the matter raised by the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, the rules of engagement are extremely important in a theatre of the kind we are discussing. Will the forces there deployed [in Mali] be acting under the rules of engagement of the United Kingdom or the United Nations?Baroness Goldie, ConservativeMy understanding is that the direct line of command will be to the overall commander, Lieutenant-General Gyllensporre. But, obviously, our deployment unit has a commanding officer as well. As for specific rules of engagement, these would not normally be disclosed, but I seek to reassure the noble Lord that there is clarity as to why our deployment is there, what it is there to do and how it is intended it should do that.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=number%20troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDinternational humanitarian law; assistance; rules of engagement; UK troops in Mali
14 December 2020...we welcome “the UK’s increased attention to instability in the Sahel” and its decision to contribute troops to the MINUSMA mission. However, we received evidence that “the UK still had ‘lessons to learn from Iraq and Afghanistan’, including those relating to equipment, regional understanding and engagement with local counterparts.” Can my noble friend the Minister say what the MoD has learned from that experience, which is now informing its approach to the support we are giving to MINUSMA’s important mission?Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Conservative
Our Armed Forces are professional and well trained. This is a United Nations mission, so they are under the command of Lieutenant General Gyllensporre, who is the Swedish commanding officer. I say to the noble Baroness that, yes, previous conflicts have identified the particular challenges of operating in difficult terrain—in coping with extremes of heat or cold—and lessons have been learned from that. I reassure my noble friend that our Armed Forces and their commanding officers are very mindful of that before asking troops to deploy to any region in the world.
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=number%20troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDassets and deployments; UK troops in Mali; MINUSMA; stabilisation unit
14 December 2020...One issue that the committee kept coming across was a difficulty in understanding whether the Government actually had a strategy for Africa. It would be helpful to understand from the Minister how far [deployment of UK troops in] Mali fits into such a strategy. Clearly, the UK is playing an important role here as part of a UN mission, but does that fit as part of the Government’s wider strategy?Baroness Smith of Newnham, Lib DemThe noble Lord and the noble Baroness asked what our objectives are. The Foreign Secretary recently chaired a review process looking at all the strands of the UK ODA budget. The review safeguarded support for five ODA priorities: the very poorest—that is, poverty reduction for the bottom billion; climate change; girls’ education, which will, I hope, reassure the noble Lord and the noble Baroness; Covid-19; and the role of Britain globally as a force for goodhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-12-14/debates/9239E953-2B13-42B6-A1C9-AA72A6F4AF98/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=number%20troops%20deployed#contribution-ED57B969-6F3F-4206-B966-9DB568C570DDassets and deployments; UK troops in Mali; MINUSMA; stabilisation unit
9 December 2020Since the Government first announced the intention to deploy these troops in July 2019, however, Mali has become more complex, less stable, more violent. This deployment is rightly limited; what measures must be met for the Government to judge it a success, are there circumstances in which the Government would widen the scope or increase the size of this UK military mission, and could troops in this UN deployment also serve in the distinct and complementary French-led Barkhane mission?

John Healey, Labour, Wentworth and DearneThere is no scope to widen the size of our force; we are limited by what the UN requires of us. There is also no scope for us to decide unilaterally, as the United Kingdom, that we want to do more; we are within the UN’s mission. MINUSMA and Operation Barkhane are entirely separate; there is no opportunity to flex one from the other, as to do so would be to break the rules on UN peacekeeping contingents. In any case, the missions are so different; Barkhane is a more offensive, counter-terrorism operation, chasing both JNIM—Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin—and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara around not only Mali, but Burkina Faso and Niger. MINUSMA is a Mali-only peacekeeping operation led by the UNhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-12-09/debates/EC6E8467-4797-4EF1-BD58-8C3F4AB49711/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=uk%20troops#contribution-80F7195B-BE20-4A10-A761-D893195584B4MINUSMA; stabilisation unit; UK Troops in Mali; assets and deployments;
9 December 2020Let me say at the outset, as I said to the House on Monday, that Labour strongly supports this commitment of UK troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, and we do so with our eyes wide open to the risks they face...
...The Minister rightly said today that deploying “to MINUSMA does not come without risk.” The UN has described this as its most dangerous mission, with 227 personnel killed since 2013, so what assessment has he made of these risks and what specific steps have been taken to reduce them? Last week the French base in Mali at Gao was attacked; where will our troops be stationed and how secure will the British base be?
John Healey, Labour, Wentworth and DearneThe right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to pick up on the line in my statement that says that this mission is not without risk. This is a dangerous part of the world in which to be operating. It is because it is such a dangerous part of the world that the case for being there as part of a peacekeeping force is so easily made. We should be clear that, despite all the training, all the equipment and all the mitigations that we will put in place—I will explain some of those in a second—our troops are accepting a risk to life and limb in serving in the Sahel, and we thank them for that. We genuinely believe that it is in the interests of the UK and the people of Mali that we contribute to that mission.

We have recognised that in previous deployments perhaps there has been a gung-ho willingness to expand the mission quickly and get on with things without fully understanding the realities of the threat on the ground and how that manifests itself in relation to military operations. In this first rotation—the first six months—we will be expecting the Light Dragoons battle group to deploy and to find its way in the immediate vicinity of Gao, the city in which the UN camp where they will be based is. If, over time, we come to understand that they can operate at range, we will consider that on its merits, depending on the mission design from the UN force commander. Our intention is to find our way slowly, to build our confidence and our understanding, and then to grow the mission, within the confines of MINUSMA. It is important to stress that there is no UK agency in being able just to decide what we do; we are under the command of the UN force commander.
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-12-09/debates/EC6E8467-4797-4EF1-BD58-8C3F4AB49711/UNMissionInMaliArmedForcesDeployment?highlight=uk%20troops#contribution-80F7195B-BE20-4A10-A761-D893195584B4MINUSMA; stabilisation unit; UK Troops in Mali; assets and deployments;
16 June 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Minister in his Department is responsible for the implementation of the UK Government’s Protection of Civilians policy.Alyn Smith, SNP, StirlingWithin the Ministry of Defence, the Protection of Civilians policy is the responsibility of the Minister for the Armed Forces. This forms an important part of the Department's Human Security policy.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-06-16/16958Protection of civilians
27 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether British arms exported to Israel were used in recent air strikes on Gaza.Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and AbingdonHM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-27/900776Partner Assistance
19 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the similarities between (a) active export licences for Israel and (b) the twelve licences that the Department for Business identified as being for components which could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza on 12 August 2014.Kenny MacAskill, Allba Party, East LothianOn 12th August 2014, HM Government said it was concerned that, in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities, it would not be able to clarify if the export licence criteria were being met and, accordingly, would suspend the twelve licences identified.Today, HM Government is satisfied that we are able to assess extant licences and new applications against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘the Consolidated Criteria’).We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely and keep relevant licences under review. We will take action to suspend, refuse or revoke licences – in line with the Consolidated Criteria – if circumstances require. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-19/4043Partner AssistanceIsrael; Gaza
17 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what risk assessment measures are used in the Government's ongoing monitoring of arms exports to Israel.Claire Hanna, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast SouthHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: GOV.UK(opens in a new tab) and the most recent publication was on 13th April 2021, covering the period 1st October – 31st December 2020. Information covering 1st January – 31st March 2021 will be published on 13th July 2021.HM Government continues to monitor closely the situation in Israel. We have procedures in place to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-17/2479Partner AssistanceIsrael
17 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what arms have been exported from the UK to Israel in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021 to date.Claire Hanna, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast SouthHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: GOV.UK(opens in a new tab) and the most recent publication was on 13th April 2021, covering the period 1st October – 31st December 2020. Information covering 1st January – 31st March 2021 will be published on 13th July 2021.HM Government continues to monitor closely the situation in Israel. We have procedures in place to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-17/2478Partner AssistanceIsrael
11 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Israeli F-35 aircrafts, of which each plane includes a 15 per cent UK work share, are being used in the air strikes on Gaza; and what steps he has taken to determine whether planes being used in the air strikes in Gaza include UK components.Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and AbingdonThe ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. We urge all parties to de-escalate. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend its citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. All UK arms export licences are assessed thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and we keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-11/426Partner AssistanceIsrael; Gaza
11 May 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the use of UK arms exported to Israel; and whether she plans to review the licensing of such exports.Hilary Benn, Labour, Leeds CentralHM Government continues to monitor closely the situation in Israel. We have procedures in place to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. We consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard procedure.HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-05-11/66Partner Assistance
12 April 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the UK's security of the decision to reduce the number of troops in the Army; and if he will make that decision subject to a vote in the House.Charlotte Nichols, Labour, Warrington NorthThe protection of our people, homeland, and democracy is the first duty of any government and so we are investing over £24 billion to reform and renew our Armed Forces for this age of global and systemic competition, modernising and integrating our forces across sea, land, air, space, and cyberspace like never before. In an era of robotics and artificial intelligence, we need to stop thinking about the strength of the Army simply in terms of numbers and focus on how successfully it can achieve what we ask of it. We have therefore designed a force that is more balanced, and ultimately more effectively matched to the threat, now and in the future. The Army will be better connected, faster, and pound-for-pound more lethal than ever before. It will be integrated across domains, with allies in NATO, and beyond.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-04-12/179632Technology; Assets and Deployment
22 April 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking within appropriate multilateral institutions to develop a strategic response to the proliferation of cruise missiles (1) to foster maximum transparency, and (2) to develop a coherent safeguarding approach within arms control arrangements.Lord Judd, LabourThe UK is a member of relevant multilateral export control regimes, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement. The MTCR seeks to prevent the proliferation of sensitive missile systems and technologies, including cruise missiles, to countries and end users of concern. The Wassenaar Arrangement in turn seeks to prevent the regional destabilising accumulation of conventional weapons, including cruise missile systems. The UK plays an active role in both regimes and through them the UK promotes transparency, the control and greater responsibility in transfers of all missiles types, as well as conventional weapons and related dual-use technologies. In addition, the UK is a State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which establishes common international standards for regulating the international trade in conventional arms, which includes cruise missile systems. The ATT requires annual reporting on transfers to reinforce transparency among State Parties.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-22/hl14447Partner Assistance
17 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what was his Department's planned R&D spend for the next four years (a) before the November 2020 uplift, and (a) now, by year.Kevan Jones, Labour, North DurhamThe 2020 Spending Review (SR) Settlement sets out a new ringfence for defence R&D amounting to at least £6.6 billion over four years from 2021-22. This funding will support next generation capabilities from satellites and automation to AI and novel weapons. Detailed investment plans for the SR period are currently being agreed in advance of next financial year so annual breakdown are not available. However, R&D investment is expected to uplift the Ministry of Defence's planned spend in R&D by over £1.5 billion in the four year SR period.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-17/170559Technology
8 March 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to ban all arms exports to countries that are not part of NATO or in a formal alliance with the UK.Lord Judd, LabourHM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.In addition, HM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-08/hl13977Partner Assistance
4 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether current licences for components for bombs issued on 4 August 2020 include contracts for Raytheon Systems UK to deliver Paveway IVs or components thereof to Saudi Arabia; and whether she has made an assessment of the effect of the the US and Italian Government's decisions to suspend or revoke certain sales and export licences to Saudi Arabia on the UK export of aerial ground-attack munitions and their components to Saudi Arabia.Zarah Sultana, Labour, Coventry SouthHM Government will continue to take its export responsibilities seriously and assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). The decisions of other countries are matters for them. Disclosure of information relating to private contracts between businesses would be inappropriate.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-04/163319Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
3 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had on using an International Political Declaration to restrict the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Leeds North EastThe final version of the Political Declaration has not yet been published.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-03/162518Protection of civilians
3 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what representations he has received on the draft text of an International Political Declaration to restrict the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Leeds North EastThe final version of the Political Declaration has not yet been publishedhttps://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-03/162519Protection of civilians
2 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the Government's policy is on endorsing an international Political Declaration to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.Tony Lloyd, Labour, RochdaleThe final version of the Political Declaration has not yet been published.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-02/161677Protection of civilians
2 March 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK Government is taking to tackle the humanitarian harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.Tony Lloyd, Labour, RochdaleIn August 2020 HMG published the UK's approach to the protection of civilians in armed conflict. The paper summarises the UK's Protection of Civilians activity in seven UK commitment areas including: ensuring respect for International Humanitarian Law in UK military operations; political engagement; strengthening accountability; and humanitarian action.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-02/161678Protection of civilians
1 March 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government why moral considerations are not included in the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria used to assess arms export licence applications.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratThe Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-03-01/hl13767Partner Assistance
25 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking (a) to mitigate the effects of war on women and children and (b) to safeguard vulnerable people in places of war.Barry Sheerman, Labour, HuddersfieldThe UK is committed to reducing the disproportional impact of conflict on women and children through championing the crucial role they can play in conflict prevention and resolution, and building on the commitments made through the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies. The UK is a world leader on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), including at the UN Security Council, and on tackling sexual violence in conflict through the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). The UK's fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security recognises the specific impacts of conflict on women and girls and outlines the UK's approach to support women and girls to exercise their human rights. For example, in Yemen the UK has supported the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities' (UNFPA) Global Programme to End Child Marriage until the end of 2020, providing 5,000 adolescent girls in Yemen, with life skills training and services for psychosocial support. The UK is an active member of the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-25/158856Protection of civilians
25 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs,what steps he is taking to advocate for the protection of civilians in dangerous parts of Yemen.Barry Sheerman, Labour, HuddersfieldThe UK calls on all the parties to the conflict to respect human rights and comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). All parties to the conflict must stop and investigate any attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.The UK fully supports UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths' efforts to bring the parties to the table to negotiate a lasting peace agreement. The only sustainable way to protect civilians and bring long-term stability to Yemen is an inclusive political settlement and an end to the conflict.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-25/158858Protection of civilians; LawYemen
23 February 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the international political declaration to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas; and whether they plan to endorse it.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe political declaration can best protect civilians through the promotion of International Humanitarian Law and the sharing of best practice. The UK will continue to engage fully with the process and will take a view on endorsement as well as the merit of making representations to other governments once the declaration's final form is known.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-23/hl13590Protection of civilians
23 February 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to make representations to other governments to encourage them to sign the international political declaration to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe political declaration can best protect civilians through the promotion of International Humanitarian Law and the sharing of best practice. The UK will continue to engage fully with the process and will take a view on endorsement as well as the merit of making representations to other governments once the declaration's final form is known.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-23/hl13591Protection of civilians
22 February 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to stop granting export licences for the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.Lord Judd, LabourHM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/hl13457Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
22 February 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the suspension in arms sales to Saudi Arabia for offensive use in Yemen by the government of the United States; and what plans they have to implement a similar suspension in arms sales.Lord Berkeley, LabourThe US announced it would end support to Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen, including relevant defence exports. This is entirely a matter for the US Government.Our position on arms exports to Saudi Arabia – as with all countries – is that such exports require an export licence and that all export licence applications are carefully assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”) on a case-by-case basis. A licence would not be granted if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/hl13362Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
22 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of granting UK Export licenses for arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the UK's development goals in Yemen.Kate Osamor, Labour, EdmontonThe Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs. The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/156486Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
22 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.Kate Osamor, Labour, EdmontonThe Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs. The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/156485Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
22 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the export of air-to-air refuelling equipment from the UK to Saudi Arabia on the war in Yemen.Kate Osamor, Labour, EdmontonThe Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs. The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/156483Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
22 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether arms sales granted an export license by the Government have been used by Saudi Arabia and their coalition partners in combat missions which have resulted in civilian casualties.Kate Osamor, Labour, EdmontonThe United Kingdom has a robust export controls regime. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”). We have been clear that equipment manufactured in the United Kingdom is used all over the world, and we are equally clear that a licence will not be granted if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-22/156484Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
9 February 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the government of the United States to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia; and what plans they have to do the same.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratThe US announced it would end support to Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen, including relevant defence exports. This is entirely a matter for the US Government.Our position on arms exports to Saudi Arabia – as with all countries – is that such exports require an export licence and that all export licence applications are carefully assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”) on a case-by-case basis. A licence would not be granted if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-09/hl13203Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; United States
3 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent to which UK-made arms are being used in activities which are in breach of international law; and if he will make a statement.Stephen Timms, Labour, East HamThe Government takes its export control responsibilities seriously and every licence application is rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. We draw on a range of sources in making assessments, including NGOs and international organisations, our diplomatic posts and reports from our overseas networks. We continue to monitor developments closely, and are able to respond quickly to changing situations. We will not issue any export licences when to do so would be inconsistent with these Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-03/148674Law, Partner Assistance
1 February 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the new US Administration on the cessation of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.Patrick Grady, SNP, Glasgow NorthMinisters have not yet discussed with the Biden Administration the reported US suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The UK takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously and we assess all export licenses in accordance with strict licensing criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-02-01/146916Partner Assistance
28 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many applications for licences for export of arms to Saudi Arabia have been rejected on the grounds that they were inconsistent with the EU and National Arms Export Consolidated Criteria since the outbreak of war in Yemen in late 2014.Tommy Sheppard, SNP, Edingburgh EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data(opens in a new tab) and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020. Whilst no Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been refused since 2015, 11 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) have been rejected for military rated exports to Saudi Arabia.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-28/145053Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to ensure that (a) all technology developed under and (b) the end product of the LANCA uncrewed air vehicle programme is ITAR-free.Kevan Jones, Labour, North DurhamThe LANCA concept is fully Ministry of Defence owned. Generation and retention of UK intellectual property were key criteria in the assessment of industry bids for the recently-announced Mosquito flight demonstrator. Whilst some ITAR controlled technology may be used in the Mosquito demonstrator, no ITAR restrictions are currently applicable to the LANCA concept. The terms of the Mosquito contract provide UK full rights to the knowledge produced for the purposes of informing the FCAS LANCA concept.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/142815Technology; Remote Warfare; Law;
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will immediately suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.Claudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastThe UK Government takes its arms licensing responsibilities seriously, and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. Criterion 2c of the Consolidated Criteria prohibits the granting of export licences where there is a clear risk that the items to be exported might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The protection of civilians during armed conflict is a cornerstone of IHL. We will not issue any export licences where there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious IHL violation.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143164Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government takes into account the potential risk of harm to civilians in Yemen in assessing whether or not to grant arms export licenses.Claudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastThe UK Government takes its arms licensing responsibilities seriously, and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. Criterion 2c of the Consolidated Criteria prohibits the granting of export licences where there is a clear risk that the items to be exported might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The protection of civilians during armed conflict is a cornerstone of IHL. We will not issue any export licences where there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious IHL violation.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143162Protection of civilians; Law; Partner AssistanceYemen
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether applications for arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have been deniedClaudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data, and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April - 30th June 2020.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143166Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether new open arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have been issued; and whether new companies have been registered to use open licences.Claudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data, and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April - 30th June 2020.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143165Partner Assistance
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many arms exports licences issued to Saudi Arabia are in military list categories (a) ML4 and (b) ML10; and what is the value of those licences.Claudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data, and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April - 30th June 2020https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143161Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
25 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the value is of arms exports licenses for weapons sold to Saudi Arabia (a) over the last 12 months and (b) since 2014.Claudia Webbe, Independent, Leicester EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data, and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April - 30th June 2020.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/143160Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
25 January 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to suspend (1) the granting of arms export licences, and (2) military support, to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners involved in operations in Yemen.Lord Judd, LabourHM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.In addition, HM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated Criteria. The United Kingdom has an ongoing defence relationship with Saudi Arabia, including training courses, advice and guidance, which support Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect its national security. This also supports the Saudi military’s compliance with international humanitarian law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-25/hl12517Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
19 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what conditions on arms use her Department has placed on Saudi Arabia.Alyn Smith, SNP, StirlingArms exports require an export licence, and all export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”). HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data (opens in a new tab)and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020. We are able to place conditions on how goods are used in situations where goods remain under an exporter’s control following export, such as temporary exports. We rigorously examine all applications on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated Criteria, which takes into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. Whilst no Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been refused since 2015, 11 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) have been rejected for arms exports to Saudi Arabia. This shows the Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of both providing equipment and its capabilities.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-19/140267Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
19 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia have been denied since 2015.Alyn Smith, SNP, StirlingArms exports require an export licence, and all export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”). HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data (opens in a new tab)and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020. We are able to place conditions on how goods are used in situations where goods remain under an exporter’s control following export, such as temporary exports. We rigorously examine all applications on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated Criteria, which takes into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. Whilst no Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs) have been refused since 2015, 11 Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) have been rejected for arms exports to Saudi Arabia. This shows the Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of both providing equipment and its capabilities.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-19/140266Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
19 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what armaments the UK exported from January 2018 to January 2021.Janet Daby, Labour, Lewisham EastHM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data(opens in a new tab) and the most recent publication was on 13th October 2020, covering the period 1st April – 30th June 2020. Information covering 1st July – 30th September 2020 will be published on 9th February 2021 and information covering 1st October 2020 – 31st December 2020 will be published on 13th April 2021.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-19/140251Partner Assistance
19 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent amendments her Department has made to export controls in the context of the potential provision of armaments to the Israeli Government.Janet Daby, Labour, Lewisham EastThe Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”) remains the policy for assessing all licence applications on a case-by-case basis.The Consolidated Criteria has long provided a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to assess the impact of licensing equipment and its capabilities. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteriahttps://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-19/140254Partner AssistanceIsrael
12 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for Government policy on arms sales to Saudi Arabia of President-elect Biden’s pledge to end US support for the Saudi-led War in Yemen.Virendra Sharma, Labour, Ealing SouthallThe UK takes its export control responsibilities and obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty extremely seriously and regularly calls on states which have not yet implemented various arms control instruments to accede to these instruments as soon as possible. We assess all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. The UK regularly raises, at senior level, the importance of complying with International Humanitarian Law and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations with Saudi Arabia. The Prime Minister spoke to President-elect Biden on 10 November to congratulate him. They discussed the close and longstanding relationship between our countries and committed to building on this partnership in the years ahead.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-12/136475Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
11 January 2021To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what type of robots the Government plans to deploy 30,000 of in the British Army by 2030.Kevan Jones, Labour, North DurhamThe British Army is transforming land capability through increasingly expansive use of technology, including Robotics and Autonomous Systems employed across all areas of operations. Explosive Ordnance Disposal robots and uncrewed ground and air systems, used for reconnaissance and surveillance, are already in service. The final number and composition of robots to be utilised throughout the British Army and their in-service dates have not yet been confirmed.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-11/135838Technology; Assets and Deployment
8 January 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that any existing unlimited-value open licences for the export of military equipment do not permit any governments considered to have human rights concerns to receive weapons or ammunition without sufficient scrutiny and end-use verification; and what plans they have to cease the issue of such licences to such countries.Lord Hylton, CrossbenchAll export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade (DIT) receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any items. A licence will not be issued if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including where there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression. We are able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, in line with the Consolidated Criteria.We have no plans to cease the issue of open licences.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-08/hl11931Partner Assistance
8 January 2021To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that EDO MBM Technology Ltd supplied Hornet bomb-racks and fuel pumps for the Bayraktar TB2 drones used by the government of Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh region; and if so, what action they have taken in response to such reports.Lord Hylton, CrossbenchWe consider all our export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. The UK complies with the OSCE arms embargo relating to the NagornoKarabakh region, which is considered as part of our export licensing process, and HMG has not issued licences contrary to the arms embargo.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-01-08/hl11932Partner AssistanceNagorno-Karabakh
15 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans the Government has to develop systems that operate without human intervention in the weapon command and control chain.Alyn Smith, SNP, StirlingThe United Kingdom has no intention of developing systems which operate without any human intervention in the weapon command and control chain.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-10/128272Technology; Remote Warfare
11 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made for the implications of her policy of her policies of the report from the UN Group of Experts on Yemen on its decision to resume the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat, Richmond ParkHM Government is always concerned to learn of allegations such as those contained in the Group of Eminent Experts’ latest report. The United Kingdom urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations, to take action to uphold rights and responsibilities, and to co-operate with the Group in future. We take our export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-11/128711Partner AssistanceYemen; Saudi Arabia
10 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of supporting a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems.Alyn Smith, SNP, StirlingThe UK considers the extant international legal framework on the development, assurance and deployment of military systems as sufficient.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-10/128271Technology; Remote Warfare; Law
3 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas published on 17 March 2020; and if he will make a statement.Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley CentralHer Majesty's Government officials have played a key role in the development of the political declaration. Covid-19 restrictions mean that in-person discussions are currently unable to take place, although the UK continues to engage civil society and states bilaterally.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-03/124753Protection of civilians
3 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the Safe Schools Declaration on the number of child deaths in conflict.Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley CentralThe Safe Schools Declaration (Declaration) has successfully shifted mind-sets globally on the impact of attacks and military occupation of educational infrastructure. The UK strongly supports the Declaration and other efforts aimed at promoting and protecting children's right to education and facilitating its continuation in conflict. Since the UK's endorsement of the Declaration, 32 additional states have endorsed, bringing the total number of supporting states to 106. Through our membership of the UNSC Children and Armed Conflict Working Group, the UK supports the work of the UN to end all violations against children, including pressing states to ensure that educational facilities and related personnel are protected, in line with the Declaration, and monitoring progress. Progress is incremental but positive change is visible. For example, the overall reported incidents of military use of schools and universities declined between 2015 and 2018 in the 12 countries that endorsed the Declaration in 2015. In July 2020, the Syrian Democratic Forces issued an order to all commanders to 'refrain from using schools for military purposes and placing equipment near them, and subsequently vacated ten schools. In August, Mali's Government reminded the armed forces of their commitments under the Declaration to avoid using any school currently vacant due to the COVID-19 pandemic for military purposes. This progress is welcome but we know more needs to be done to drive tangible change. The UK continues to call upon all UN Member States to endorse and fully implement the Declaration.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-03/124755Protection of civilians
2 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the trends in the number of children (a) killed and (b) maimed by the use of explosive weapons in conflict zones over the last 10 years, and if he will make a statement.Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley CentralThe UK's objectives on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) are primarily pursued through our engagement with the UN. The UK is an active permanent member of the UN Security Council Working Group on CAAC, which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the killing and maiming of children, including by the use of explosive weapons. The Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report and country specific reports on CAAC which assess the treatment of children within conflict zones and list governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. At the UN Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on 23 June, the UK reaffirmed our commitment to tackling violations against children in armed conflict and highlighted the need for a transparent and credible framework for accountability based on a standardised and evidence-backed approach to de-listing and listing of state and non-state actors for violations.The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the office of the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) for CAAC, contributing £1.3m over the last six years in support of her core mandate. The UK increased its funding to £550,000 in FY20/21. This includes the funding of the SRSG's visits, political engagements, technical missions to support UN Country Taskforces on Monitoring and Reporting who collect information, assess trends, respond to grave violations and engage in advocacy, notably to negotiate and implement Action Plans to end the recruitment and use of children. For FY 19/20, the UK also funded Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict to produce two reports on "Defending and Upholding the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda: Advocacy for Children's Rights" and "A Credible List": Recommendations for the Secretary-General's 2020 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict," in support of securing greater accountability for violations of children's rights in conflict.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-02/124193Protection of civilians
2 December 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to develop UK offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.Damian Collins, Conservative, Folkestone and HytheThe Ministry of Defence has funded programmes to mitigate cyber risks against our platforms, weapon systems and core digital infrastructure. And building on the National Offensive Cyber Programme, the new National Cyber Force will design and deliver cyber operations, from supporting warfighting operations to countering serious crime and combatting terrorism. We are developing a cyber-aware workforce to embed cyber security into our business and operations, and establishing a dedicated career stream for our most highly-skilled military cyber professionals for which various possible remunerative options are being explored.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-12-02/909799Technology
23 November 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK's licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the (a) peace process and (b) humanitarian situation in Yemen.Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and AbingdonThe Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and every licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export licensing Criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. We will not issue any export licences when there is a clear risk of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. We fully support the peace process led by the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, and urge the parties to engage constructively with him. A political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian situation is dire, especially given the risk of famine. The UK has shown extensive leadership in response, committing £200 million in aid this financial year, which takes our total commitment to over £1 billion since the conflict began in 2015.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-11-23/119358Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
16 November 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss (1) arms control, and (2) arms trade limitation, with the government of Saudi Arabia, including at the next G20 summit.Lord Hylton, CrossbenchThe UK participated in the G20 Summit, where the Prime Minister set out his priorities of a coordinated global health response to the pandemic, a sustainable economic recovery, and ambitious action against climate change. As current G20 President, Saudi Arabia played a vital role in delivering a communique agreement on affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The UK strongly supports the various arms control instruments to which it is a party, as such we regularly call on all States which have not yet done so, to accede to these instruments as soon as possible. The UK takes its export control responsibilities and obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty extremely seriously. We assess all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. The UK regularly raises the importance of International Humanitarian Law and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations with Saudi Arabia, including at senior levelshttps://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-11-16/hl10346Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
16 November 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the Government has suspended or revoked an existing Arms Export licence in the last five years; what the grounds were for those actions; and which countries those licences were for.Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour, South ShieldsSince 2015, we have taken revocation action 74 times on individual licences; and suspended licences, pending further investigations, four times.I have provided the Hon. Lady with instances below where a licence was revoked in full; where a country was removed; where goods were removed; or where goods for a country were removed. 9 SIELs for Ukraine were revoked following increasing tensions in the region (Criterion 3).
3 SIELs for Yemen and 1 OIEL destination were revoked further to the deteriorating situation in-country and the risk of diversion (Criteria 3, 7)
1 OIEL had seven destinations revoked (Taiwan, Spain, Qatar, Greece, Canada, Australia and Afghanistan) when extended beyond its original validity date.
1 OIEL has one destination revoked (Isle of Man) having been issued in error.
1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Japan, Norway and Switzerland) due to the sensitivity of the goods (Criterion 5)
1 SIEL for the Philippines was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
3 SIELs for Germany, Italy and the United States were revoked where the goods were for onward export to Venezuela following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
2 SIELs and 13 OIEL destinations for Venezuela were revoked following the introduction of restrictive measures by the EU in 2017 (Criterion 1).
1 OIEL had three destinations revoked (Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan), having been issued in error.
1 SIEL for Iraq was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criterion 7)
1 SIEL for Bangladesh was revoked following the provision of additional technical information on the capabilities of the equipment, giving rise to concerns over rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
1 OIEL destination for Belarus was revoked because of the risk of contravening EU financial sanctions including asset freezes (Criterion 1)
2 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7)
1 SIEL and 3 OIEL destinations for Myanmar (Burma) were revoked following the expansion of EU Sanctions there in 2018 (Criterion 1)
1 OIEL had 31 destinations revoked (Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, New Caledonia and Dependencies, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, St Helena, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States and Uruguay), having been issued in error.
6 SIELs for China were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion (Criteria 5a and 7), 4 of these SIELs were initially suspended.
1 SIEL for Pakistan was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a WMD programme (Criterion 1)
2 SIELs for Sweden and Saudi Arabia and 2 OIEL destination for Jordan and Saudi Arabia were revoked because they were contrary to Secretary of State’s commitment to Parliament that no new licences would be granted for export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia or its coalition partners for possible use in the conflict in Yemen.
1 OIEL destination for Saudi Arabia was revoked because of the risk of internal repression and violations of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2a)
2 OITCLs for Sierra Leone had goods revoked because the licences were issued in error (Criterion 1).
1 SIEL for Turkey was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
1 SIEL for Uganda was revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7)
1 SIEL and 1 OIEL destination for Iraq was revoked following a change of situation in country and the risk of items being used to commit abuses of rights and responsibilities (Criterion 2)
3 SIELs for Israel were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1, 5a and 7)
3 SIELs for South Africa, Spain and Jordan, 3 SIELs for the United Arab Emirates and 1 OIEL destination for the United Arab Emirates were revoked following new information indicating a risk of diversion to a third country of concern (Criteria 1 and 7). In seeking to be open with the Hon. Lady, this data is provided from management information and may, therefore, not align with published official statistics. My department has identified some instances where revocations were not reported. For example, following the introduction of EU restrictive measures in 2017, we revoked Venezuela from 13 OIELs, but five were not reported. My department has identified the cause of this and put in place measures to ensure there is no re-occurrence. The data will align with the next official statistics update and the official estimates will be revised.
https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-11-16/115685Partner Assistance
10 November 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on UK defence exports of the increasing proportion of US-made equipment procured by his Department.Kevan Jones, Labour, North DurhamUK Defence equipment is highly regarded; this view is also reflected in the statistics recently released by the Department for International Trade's Defence Security Exports Organisation which show that the UK is ranked 2nd in the global rankings and in 2019 won defence orders worth £11 billion. The UK Armed Forces equipment needs are many and varied and so it is right that we source the best kit available for them, whether that be from the UK, US or somewhere else, whilst delivering value for money for the taxpayer. The Department is looking at how the UK Defence Sector can best support the equipment programme into the future through the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-11-10/113501Partner AssistanceUnited States
3 November 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the compliance with the 1992 OSCE arms embargo on Nagorno-Karabakh of the supply of equipment by EDO MBM Technology Ltd to Turkey; and what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that that equipment has been used in drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh area since September 2020.Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat, BathHMG considers all export applications against the Consolidated Criteria which provides a strict assessment framework and we keep all licences under careful and continual review. HMG complies with the OSCE arms embargo relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is considered as part of our export licensing process. We have not issued licences contrary to the arms embargo. We continue to monitor developments in the region closely.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-11-03/110885Partner Assistance; Technology; Remote WarfareNagorno-Karabakh
30 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Home Office, what counter UAV technology is available to close protection details assigned to travelling Government (a) VVIPs and (b) foreign missions.Adam Holloway, Conservative, GraveshamIt is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on the security arrangements for protected individuals. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals concerned.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-30/109224Technology; Assets and Deployment
30 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how the research of counter UAV technology is coordinated across Government departments.Adam Holloway, Conservative, GraveshamThose engaged in work to counter the treat from drones, consists of a variety of departments including the Department for Transport, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy amongst others co-ordinated by the Home Office. Science and Technology teams within this cross-government community work collaboratively to ensure the best use of resource and collaborative problem solving. This collaboration is facilitated by an established governance system of Senior and working level boards and working groups. These strong working relationships have enabled the community to test existing and help develop future counter UAV technology and support industry to better meet the UK’s security needs.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-30/109222Technology
30 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what counter UAV technology is available to the armed forces on overseas deployments.Adam Holloway, Conservative, GraveshamWe take a multi-layered approach to the Force Protection of our personnel deployed overseas. This includes intelligence, deterrence, detection and warning, and physical protection measures, alongside capabilities to defeat specific threats. Counter-UAV equipment with specific capability requirements, including Rafael's Drone Dome system, is available to deployed UK forces.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-30/109223Technology; Remote Warfare; Assets and Deployment
19 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards are in place to ensure that arms sold by the UK to other countries are not used on civilian populations.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeBritish arms sales are subject to an export licence. All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). The Consolidated Criteria take into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. They provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/hl9283Partner Assistance
19 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the Saudi-led coalition’s documented use of physical and mental torture and other forms of ill-treatment against prisoners detained during conflict is indicative of that coalition’s capacity and intent to comply with Article 19 of the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusions of that initial assessment.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe Government takes extremely seriously allegations of international humanitarian law violations and access restrictions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to uphold their commitments under international humanitarian law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105334Partner Assistance
19 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the Saudi-led coalition’s documented use of (i) rockets and mortars and (ii) other indirect-fire weapon systems with wide-area impact is indicative of that coalition’s capacity and intent to comply with Article 51(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe Government takes extremely seriously allegations of international humanitarian law violations and access restrictions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to uphold their commitments under international humanitarian law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105333Partner Assistance; LawSaudi Arabia
19 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the beating, electrocution, suspension in painful positions, sexual violence and other forms of ill-treatment committed against detainees of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen at (i) the Mar'ib political security prison and (ii) elsewhere constitute a pattern indicating the use of physical and mental torture against prisoners detained during conflict prohibited by Article 19 of the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe take very seriously all allegations of breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect international humanitarian law. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law in connection with countries to whom arms and military equipment are licensed for export, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non Governmental Organisations and international organisations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105331Partner Assistance; Law
19 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the use of (i) rockets and mortars and (ii) other indirect-fire weapon systems with wide-area impact by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen (A) at Al-Raqw market in Munabbih between 20 November and 24 December 2019 and (B) on other occasions constitute a pattern indicating the use of indiscriminate attacks prohibited by Article 51(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe take very seriously all allegations of breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect international humanitarian law. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law in connection with countries to whom arms and military equipment are licensed for export, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non Governmental Organisations and international organisations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105330Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia; Yemen
19 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the (i) closure of Sana’a international airport from August 2016-February 2020 and (ii) other restrictions placed on imports of food and medicine into Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition constitute a pattern indicating the deliberate targeting of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population prohibited by Article 54 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe take very seriously all allegations of breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect international humanitarian law. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law in connection with countries to whom arms and military equipment are licensed for export, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non Governmental Organisations and international organisations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-19/105329Partner Assistance; LawYemen
14 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards exist to ensure that weapons sold to other countries are not used on civilian populationsBaroness Hodgson, ConservativeBritish arms sales are subject to an export licence. All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). The Consolidated Criteria take into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. They provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-14/hl9189Partner Assistance
12 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy includes (a) youth, peace and security and (b) the rights of children in (i) conflict and (ii) peacebuilding.Yasmin Qureshi, Labour, Bolton South EastThe Integrated Review will cover all aspects of international and national security policy, such as defence, diplomacy, development and national resilience. The Youth, Peace and Security agenda is an important component of the UK's work to promote human rights and support sustainable peace processes. At the UN Security Council on 14 July, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted UN Resolution 2535 on the vital role of youth in preventing and resolving conflict, as well as in building and maintaining peace. We continue to prioritise preventive diplomacy and mediation through the UN and push for greater collaboration on peacebuilding amongst international organisations. At the UN Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on 23 June, the UK reaffirmed our commitment to tackling violations against children in armed conflict and highlighted the need for a transparent and credible framework for accountability based on a standardised and evidence-backed approach to de-listing and listing of state and non-state actors for violations. We also continue to drive more concerted, coordinated and scaled-up global action across the international system to prevent gender-based violence in conflict settings. Gender equality that includes youth and children's rights will remain a core part of the Government's mission and it is at the heart of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-12/102023Protection of civilians
7 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of UK arms sales to Yemen in (1) 2017, and (2) 2019.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratAlthough defence and security export statistics by region are published annually on GOV.UK, they do not separately identify data relating to individual countries. The Government publishes official statistics about export licences granted and refused each quarter. The data currently includes details of licences up to 31 March 2020. Data for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 was published on 13 October 2020. The data can be accessed on GOV.UK. Licences granted are not necessarily a measure of exports shipped in a given period as they are valid for between two and five years. Licensing data only provides a partial indication of sales as exporters only declare export values for a subsection of licences (Standard Individual Export Licences). Some licences expire before they are used and, in these circumstances, exporters must submit a further application, which can result in an element of double counting. All UK export licence applications are assessed rigorously against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing criteria. Export values declared for Standard Individual Export Licences for military exports granted to Yemen in 2017 and 2019 are as follows: 2017 - £21,150, 2019 - £0. It is also the case that there is a partial arms embargo on Yemen. The embargo applies only to designated individuals and entities.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-07/hl8891Partner AssistanceYemen
7 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia in (1) 2017, and (2) 2019.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratAlthough defence and security export statistics by region are published annually on GOV.UK, they do not separately identify data relating to individual countries.The Government publishes official statistics about export licences granted and refused each quarter. The data currently includes details of licences up to 31 March 2020. Data for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 was published on 13 October 2020. The data can be accessed on GOV.UK.It should be noted that licences granted are not necessarily a measure of sales or exports shipped in a given period as they are valid for between two and five years. Licensing data only provides a partial indication of sales as exporters only declare export values for a subsection of licences (Standard Individual Export Licences). Some licences expire before they are used and, in these circumstances, exporters must submit a further application, which can result in an element of double counting. All UK export licence applications are assessed rigorously against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing criteria.Export values declared for Standard Individual Export Licences for military exports granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017 and 2019 are as follows: 2017 - £1,133,477,661, 2019 - £638,236,675https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-07/hl8892Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
6 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the August 2020 monthly data from the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project in Yemen, that details 163 new civilian casualties from the ongoing conflict.Caroline Lucas, Green Party, Brighton PavillionThe Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is deeply concerned by the findings of the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project August 2020 report. We take reports of civilian casualties very seriously and we use every opportunity to raise the importance of complying with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition, including requesting investigations into alleged incidents of concern. The UK continues to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with IHL and engage constructively with the peace process led by the UN Special Envoy, which is the only way to end the cycle of violence.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-06/99583Protection of civilians; Law; Partner Assistance
6 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the total value of arms exports from the UK to Saudi Arabia was in the last ten years.Chris Law, SNP, Dundee WestDefence and security export statistics by region – rather than individual countries – are published on GOV.UK annually. However, HM Government publishes Official Statistics about export licences granted and refused each quarter. The publicly available data on GOV.UK currently includes details of licences up to 31st March 2020; data for the period 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 will be published on 13th October 2020. Licensing data does not provide an accurate export value as value needs only to be declared for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs). Nonetheless, export values declared in SIELs for military exports granted to Saudi Arabia in 2019 were £638,236,675; and in the last 10 years were £9,262,769,732. Licences granted are not necessarily a measure of exports shipped in a given period though – as they are valid for between two and five years – and some such licences expire before they are used so, in these circumstances, exporters must submit a further application, which can result in double counting.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-06/99645Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
6 October 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the total value was of arms exports from the UK to Saudi Arabia in 2019.Chris Law, SNP, Dundee WestDefence and security export statistics by region – rather than individual countries – are published on GOV.UK annually. However, HM Government publishes Official Statistics about export licences granted and refused each quarter. The publicly available data on GOV.UK currently includes details of licences up to 31st March 2020; data for the period 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 will be published on 13th October 2020. Licensing data does not provide an accurate export value as value needs only to be declared for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs). Nonetheless, export values declared in SIELs for military exports granted to Saudi Arabia in 2019 were £638,236,675; and in the last 10 years were £9,262,769,732. Licences granted are not necessarily a measure of exports shipped in a given period though – as they are valid for between two and five years – and some such licences expire before they are used so, in these circumstances, exporters must submit a further application, which can result in double counting.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-06/99644Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
5 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to advocate for an implementation mechanism to give greater meaning and effect to the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe UK will take a view on the merits of an implementation mechanism for the Political Declaration on the Protection of Civilians in Urban Warfare once its final form is known.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-05/hl8720Protection of civilians
5 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government whether non-use against civilians is a condition of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeBritish arms sales are subject to an export licence. All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). The Consolidated Criteria take into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. They provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities.HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-05/hl8721Partner Assistance; Protection of civiliansSaudi Arabia
5 October 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current status of UK arms supply arrangements with Saudi Arabia; and whether changes have been made to these arrangements in the light of the ongoing conflict in YemenBaroness Hodgson, ConservativeBritish arms exports are subject to an export licence. All export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). As set out in my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade’s Written Statement of 7th July 2020, we have developed a revised methodology in respect of all allegations that it is assessed are likely to have occurred and to have been caused by fixed wing aircraft, reflecting the factual circumstances which court proceedings concerned and this revised methodology is in place for international humanitarian law (IHL) assessments when assessing such exports against Criterion 2c of the Consolidated Criteria. Criterion 2c provides that HM Government will not grant a licence if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL. Indeed, HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with any part of the Consolidated Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-05/hl8722Partner Assistance; LawSaudi Arabia; Yemen
30 September 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of possible war crimes committed by coalition forces in Yemen after an airstrike on a home in Washah near the Yemeni–Saudi border killed six children.Marquess of Lothian, ConservativeWe are deeply concerned by reports of civilian deaths in Washah. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from NGOs and international organisations. We use every opportunity to raise the importance of complying with IHL with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition, including requesting investigations into alleged incidents of concern. The UK continues to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with IHL and engage constructively with the peace process led by the UN Special Envoy, which is the only way to end the cycle of violence.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-30/hl8642Protection of civilians; Law; Partner Assistance
28 September 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which Minister is responsible for delivering the commitments set out in the new UK Approach to Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.Dan Jarvis, Labour, Barnsley CentralThe Protection of Civilians (PoC) agenda is a cross-Government initiative. HMG's approach paper was drafted in collaboration between the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the former Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. It does not change departmental responsibilities. In line with the breadth and complexity of PoC issues, ranging from humanitarian access to urban warfare, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence will continue to work closely together on the areas of focus set out in the paper.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-28/96073Protection of civilians
24 September 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any contribution to the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas; and, if so, which department has made this contribution.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe Ministry of Defence and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are at the forefront of international discussions on the political declaration. The declaration remains in draft and we await further developments before we can assess any potential impact or implementation requirements. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is, however, governed by International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which the UK complies fully with.The UK will continue to take an active role in discussions to ensure that the protection of civilians is appropriately balanced with the need for responsible states to retain operational flexibility.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-24/hl8450Protection of civilians; Law
24 September 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likely impact of the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas on (1) targeting of civilians, and (2) related reduction in civilian casualties.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe Ministry of Defence and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are at the forefront of international discussions on the political declaration. The declaration remains in draft and we await further developments before we can assess any potential impact or implementation requirements. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is, however, governed by International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which the UK complies fully with. The UK will continue to take an active role in discussions to ensure that the protection of civilians is appropriately balanced with the need for responsible states to retain operational flexibility.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-24/hl8452Protection of civilians; Law
24 September 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government how the Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from Humanitarian Harm arising from the use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas will be implemented; and what monitoring mechanisms there will be.Baroness Hodgson, ConservativeThe Ministry of Defence and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are at the forefront of international discussions on the political declaration. The declaration remains in draft and we await further developments before we can assess any potential impact or implementation requirements. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is, however, governed by International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which the UK complies fully with. The UK will continue to take an active role in discussions to ensure that the protection of civilians is appropriately balanced with the need for responsible states to retain operational flexibility.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-24/hl8451Protection of civilians; Law
21 September 2020What recent assessment he has made of the utility of offensive cyber in countering conventional aggression.Julian Lewis, Independent, New Forest EastWe recognise cyber as a domain of military operations alongside air, land, sea and space.Offensive cyber is now a critical part of our arsenal. Defence has integrated this into our military planning alongside the full range of military effects. We will continue to develop and exploit Offensive Cyber’s potential to complement and enhance our conventional military capabilities and assets. Offensive Cyber has already demonstrated its utility, against Daesh, where the UK suppressed Daesh propaganda, hindered their ability to coordinate attacks, and protected coalition forces on the battlefield. For reasons of safeguarding national security, I cannot discuss our cyber capability in greater detail or be specific on how it is employed.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-21/906307Technology; Assets and Deployment
9 September 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving the UN in the application of pressure (1) to the government of (a) Israel, (b) Russia, and (c) Saudi Arabia, and (2) to any other government which has yet to sign and has been accused of (a) violating the rights of children, and (b) attacking schools, to sign the Safe Schools Declaration.Lord Pendry, LabourThe Safe Schools Declaration (Declaration) is a powerful initiative that has successfully shifted mind-sets globally on the impact of attacks and military occupation of educational infrastructure. The UK welcomes the Declaration and other efforts aimed at promoting and protecting the right to education and facilitating its continuation in conflict.As a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UK is using its membership to engage with key states as they come onto the UNSC on the Declaration, to lobby for endorsement, push for effective implementation, and offer official level consultations where relevant. Through the UNSC Children and Armed Conflict Working Group, the UK supplements and supports the work of the UN to end all violations against children, including pushing states to ensure that educational facilities and related personnel are protected, in line with the Declaration. The UK lobbied successfully for key commitments in September's UNSC Presidential Statement on protecting education against attack, including securing reference to the Declaration and the critical role it plays, despite strong opposition.In September 2020, the UK actively supported the implementation of the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack on 9 September. We participated in a related UNSC Open Debate, calling upon Member States to endorse and commit to avoiding military use of educational facilities. We will continue to call upon all UN Member States to endorse and implement the Declaration, including Israel, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-09/hl7981Protection of civiliansIsrael; Russia; Saudi Arabia
28 August 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent alleged downing of a US-operated AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma drone by Houthi rebels in Yemen on (a) the Yemeni civil war and (b) relations between Iran and the West.Gill Furniss, Labour, Sheffield, Brightside and HillsboroughWe are aware of reports that the Houthis recently downed a US drone, but we have seen no evidence to corroborate these reports. We are clear that continued Houthi violence only makes a peaceful resolution to the Yemeni civil war less likely. We continue to urge all parties to de-escalate, participate in positive dialogue and engage with the peace process led by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths. We are also deeply concerned by the findings of the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen that military equipment of Iranian origin was introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo. This puts Iran in non-compliance with Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015) and reaffirms our concerns about destabilising Iranian activity in Yemen and the wider region. We have raised these concerns with the Iranian Government.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-08-28/82235Remote Warfare; Technology; Counter-terrorism; Partner AssistanceYemen; Iran
28 August 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia.Charlotte Nichols, Labour, Warrington NorthHM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Specifically, Criterion 2c makes sure that we do not grant licences if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-08-28/82518Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
27 July 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government why they decided to resume granting export licences for the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratThe Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of 7th July 2020 set out details of the revised methodology developed to comply with the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20th June 2019 and applied to re-take the decisions remitted by the Court of Appeal on the correct legal basis.It also set out why my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade assessed that there is not a clear risk that the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. Having now re-taken the decisions that were the subject of judicial review on the correct legal basis, as required by the Order of the Court of Appeal of 20th June 2019, it follows that the undertaking given to the Court – that we would not grant any new licences for the export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in Yemen – falls away. The broader commitment that was given to Parliament, relating to licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, also no longer applies.Decisions on export licence applications for Saudi Arabia and its Coalition partners for possible use in the conflict in Yemen can now be taken. All export licence applications will be assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-07-27/hl7396Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
20 July 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government plans to publish the review upon which it based its decision to resume arms exports to Saudi Arabia in July 2020.Owen Thompson, Scottish National Party, MidlothianThe review contains confidential and sensitive information so, for national security reasons, HM Government has no plans to publish it.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-07-20/76789Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
17 July 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Defence on 13 July (68798), how many of the 535 incidents referred to in the "Tracker" database record a civilian harm incident as a "mistake" by the Saudi-led coalition.Lord Browne, LabourAs explained by the International Trade Secretary on 7 July 2020, all of the allegations recorded on the Tracker have been subject to detailed analysis by reference to the relevant principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and in the light of all the information and intelligence available. An evaluation has then been made, in respect of each incident, whether it is possible that it constitutes a breach of IHL or whether it is unlikely that it represents a breach. The assessment of whether it is possible that an incident constituted a breach of IHL uses all available sources of information, including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive. We are therefore not able to go into the details of individual assessments.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-07-17/hl6966Protection of civilians; Law; Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
09/07/2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that British Arms exports are not being deployed by the Saudi Government in Yemen.Paula Barker, Labour, Liverpool WavertreeTo address the Court of Appeal's judgement, we have developed a revised methodology against which all existing and new applications for Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen will be assessed to consider whether there is a clear risk the equipment might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. If there is such a risk, we will not issue the export licence.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-07-09/71927Partner Assistance
8 July 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which Minister in her Department was responsible for the approval of any arms export licences for (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) its coalition partners from 17 July 2016 to 9 January 2018Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour, Brighton KemptownMy Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade is ultimately responsible for decisions on all strategic export licences.Her predecessor, my Rt Hon. Friend for North Somerset, held the post during the dates referred to.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-07-08/71133Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
29 June 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if his Department will undertake a public investigation into the air strike at Tal al-Jayer in Syria on 12 June 2018 to determine whether munitions from RAF planes were responsible for civilian casualties.Clive Lewis, Labour, Norwich SouthAbiding by International Humanitarian Law and the Law of Armed Conflict is of the utmost importance to this Government and is central to all of our military operations at home and overseas.UK aircraft conducted a single strike on 12 June 2018. Ministry of Defence officials have cross referenced the village name with coordinates of that strike and established that they differ by approximately four miles and that the UK did not strike any buildings. Therefore, from the evidence available, we have no reason to believe that the UK was responsible for any civilian casualties on 12 June 2018. As the Government has stated previously, we will always work closely with partners and civil society and investigate all credible claims that UK aircraft have been responsible for civilian casualties.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-29/66128Protection of civilians; LawSyria
23 June 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will support an independent review of the process for listing parties to armed conflict for grave violations against children to safeguard against potential political interference.Margaret Ferrier, SNP, Rutherglen and Hamilton WestThe UK takes allegations of abuses against children in armed conflict extremely seriously. We strongly support the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and continue to fund her office and work. At the UN Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on 23 June, the UK reaffirmed our commitment to tackling violations against children in armed conflict and highlighted the need for a transparent and credible framework for accountability based on a standardised and evidence-backed approach to de-listing and listing of state and non-state actors for violations. We have called upon the UN to review its approach and we will continue to engage constructively with the UN and member states to ensure the effectiveness of the listing mechanism.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-23/63362Protection of civilians
9 June 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make assessment of whether equipment supplied by EDO MBM Technology Ltd to Turkey has been incorporated into drones sent by Turkey to Libya in violation of the UN arms embargo on that country.Kate Osamor, Labour, EdmontonHMG takes its arms export responsibilities seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. All licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include Criterion One, upholding the United Kingdom's international obligations to enforce arms embargoes; and Criterion Seven concerning the risk of equipment's diversion to an undesirable end-user or end-use. We are aware of reports of Turkish military involvement in Libya. Licences have been granted to EDO MBM Technology Ltd for military items for use by the Turkish armed forces. We are monitoring the situation in Libya and if extant licences are found to be no longer consistent with the Criteria, those licences will be revoked. The UK publishes quarterly and annual statistics on all our export licensing decisions, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. These can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-09/57303Technology, Partner Assistance; LawTurkey; Libya
9 June 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK troops being deployed as part of the UK’s long-range reconnaissance force alongside the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali will be supported by (1) British Army Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, and (2) Royal Air Force Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK's upcoming deployment to MINUSMA will be supported by the British Army Desert Hawk. This is assessed as the most suitable UAV for the deployment. There are currently no plans for Royal Air Force Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems to be used on the deployment. UK forces may also receive support from other Remotely Piloted Air Systems which are deployed as part of MINUSMA, including the German HERON.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-09/hl5488Remote Warfare; Technology; Assets and DeploymentMali
9 June 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what types of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems will be used to support the UK troops being deployed alongside the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK's upcoming deployment to MINUSMA will be supported by the British Army Desert Hawk. This is assessed as the most suitable UAV for the deployment. There are currently no plans for Royal Air Force Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems to be used on the deployment. UK forces may also receive support from other Remotely Piloted Air Systems which are deployed as part of MINUSMA, including the German HERON.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-09/hl5489Remote Warfare; Technology; Assets and DeploymentMali
9 June 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on (1) the 'Mosquito' project, (2) the 'Many Drones Make Light Work' programme, and (3) other work to network-enabled or ‘swarm' drones; and when they anticipate such network-enabled drone capability to be operational.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchProject Mosquito is a technology demonstration being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 is complete, and the Ministry of Defence is currently evaluating the proposals for Phase 2. As Project Mosquito is a technology demonstrator, it is not anticipated that the project will result in an operational capability.The Many Drones Make Light Work project explores the technical feasibility and military use of a swarm of up to twenty small unmanned aircraft vehicles, operating under the control of one individual. The project is in its final phase, Phase 3, delivering a structured flight evaluation programme of this new capability with the successful first trials held in March 2020.The Royal Air Force's swarming drones project continues to be developed by the Rapid Capabilities Office with progress during recent trials exceeding expectations in several areas. Following the successful first trials, 216 Squadron was reformed at RAF Waddington on 1 April 2020. They will take on the operating role for the RAF's fleet of network enabled drones.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-09/hl5490Technology; Assets and Deployment; Remote Warfare
8 June 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of arms sold to the United States in (1) 1990; (2) 2000; (3) 2010; and (4) 2018.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratMy Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade (DIT) receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. All countries are under continual review, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, and my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. We do not hold complete records based on shipments of items exported to the United States or any country, although we do hold some information based on the value of licences granted for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs). The Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK. These reports contain information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data(opens in a new tab).The most recent publication was in April 2020, on licences issued until the end of December 2019. Quarterly reports are available from 2008 onwards.Records from 1997–2007 are available in the United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report, laid each year and placed within the libraries of the House.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-08/hl5413Partner AssistanceUSA
8 June 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy regarding the sale of arms to the United States of America.Lord Roberts, Liberal DemocratMy Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and I have been sorry to see the violence that has taken place in the United States of America.All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade (DIT) receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any equipment. These are not decisions my Department takes lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. All countries are under continual review, in line with the Consolidated Criteria, and my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. We do not hold complete records based on shipments of items exported to the United States or any country, although we do hold some information based on the value of licences granted for Standard Individual Export Licences (SIELs). The Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK. These reports contain information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences. This information is available at: http://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data(opens in a new tab).The most recent publication was in April 2020, on licences issued until the end of December 2019. Quarterly reports are available from 2008 onwards.Records from 1997–2007 are available in the United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report, laid each year and placed within the libraries of the House.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-08/hl5411Partner AssistanceUSA
8 June 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when the arms export licences to the United States were last reviewed.Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party, Glasgow CentralI refer the honourable member to the answer I provided on 8th June.All countries are under continual review, in line with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (‘Consolidated Criteria’), and my Department is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require. Providing the names of companies licensed to export crowd controlled ammunition and tear gas would disclose commercially sensitive information.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-08/56033Partner Assistance
11 May 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which munitions the RAF dropped on Iraq in April 2020; what the cost of each munition was; how many enemy combatants were killed from those munitions; whether and (d) whether any death or injury was caused to civilians from those munitions.Sam Tarry, Labour, Ilford SouthIn April 2020, fourteen Paveway IV and one GBU-12 munitions were released in Iraq by the RAF. The weapon release mission reports indicate an estimate of three enemy killed in action. There are no reports of civilian causalities associated with the weapon release events.Missile procurement costs are dependent on the quantity of missiles being procured, customer priorities and market conditions at the time. Specific cost details are commercially sensitive and therefore are not disclosed by the Ministry of Defence.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-05-11/45504Protection of civiliansIraq
28 April 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government whether independent experts on children and armed conflict are consulted as part of the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment process to ensure UK overseas security and justice assistance work meets our human rights obligations and our values.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK is an active permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming of children, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children in conflict.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its guidance on Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) in 2017 by written ministerial statement. Since then, information on its implementation has been included in the FCO's Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report. The OSJA guidance applies to issues of international humanitarian law as well as human rights risks. As part of implementation of the OSJA guidance, Her Majesty's Government missions pool expertise from a range of sources including civil society partners and international organisations, according to the situation in the country concerned. This includes relevant UN sources of expertise.The UN CAAC Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC which lists governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. As a member of the group, the UK applies diplomatic pressure to listed parties to enter into concrete UN action plans to verify and release any children associated with armed groups and forces, to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. We ensure that the technical assistance we provide is in line with international standards, and fully complies with our human rights obligations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-28/hl3552Protection of civilians
28 April 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government what, if any, information contained within the annual and country-specific reports of the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict is taken into account during Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK is an active permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming of children, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children in conflict.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its guidance on Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) in 2017 by written ministerial statement. Since then, information on its implementation has been included in the FCO's Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report. The OSJA guidance applies to issues of international humanitarian law as well as human rights risks. As part of implementation of the OSJA guidance, Her Majesty's Government missions pool expertise from a range of sources including civil society partners and international organisations, according to the situation in the country concerned. This includes relevant UN sources of expertise.The UN CAAC Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC which lists governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. As a member of the group, the UK applies diplomatic pressure to listed parties to enter into concrete UN action plans to verify and release any children associated with armed groups and forces, to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. We ensure that the technical assistance we provide is in line with international standards, and fully complies with our human rights obligations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-28/hl3551Protection of civilians
28 April 2020To ask Her Majesty's Government whether information on grave violations of international law against children in situations of armed conflict is taken into account during Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK is an active permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), which leads the international response to violations committed against children in conflict. These violations include: the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming of children, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children in conflict.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its guidance on Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) in 2017 by written ministerial statement. Since then, information on its implementation has been included in the FCO's Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report. The OSJA guidance applies to issues of international humanitarian law as well as human rights risks. As part of implementation of the OSJA guidance, Her Majesty's Government missions pool expertise from a range of sources including civil society partners and international organisations, according to the situation in the country concerned. This includes relevant UN sources of expertise.The UN CAAC Working Group focuses on responding to the UN Secretary-General's annual report on CAAC which lists governments and armed groups for committing grave violations against children. As a member of the group, the UK applies diplomatic pressure to listed parties to enter into concrete UN action plans to verify and release any children associated with armed groups and forces, to prevent re-recruitment and ensure the provision of appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance. We ensure that the technical assistance we provide is in line with international standards, and fully complies with our human rights obligations.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-28/hl3550Protection of civilians; Law
24 April 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect on UK export licensing of the 11 December 2019 communication to the ICC calling on it to investigate UK Government-authorised exports of arms to members of the Saudi/UAE-led coalition in Yemen.Zarah Sultana, Labour, Coventry SouthThe Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, last updated in a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2014, remains the policy for assessing all licence applications.Our assessment of each export licence against the Consolidated Criteria takes into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-24/39813Partner Assistance; LawSaudi Arabia; UAE; Yemen
24 April 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what effect the order by the Court of Appeal in June 2019 not to issue new licences for the export of equipment to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen has had on the Government's obligations to Saudi Arabia under existing Government-to-Government agreements for the supply of military equipment; and if he will make a statement.Zarah Sultana, Labour, Coventry SouthThe Government’s obligations to supply military equipment and support to Saudi Arabia under the existing Government-to-Government arrangements are fulfilled under contract by the designated prime contractor, BAE Systems. Under these contracts, it is the responsibility of the company to submit an export licence application for all exports of arms and controlled military goods, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.The Government continues to act fully in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-24/39815Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
21 April 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the joint statement on the fifth anniversary of the conflict in Yemen, published on 26 March 2020, what representations officials in his Department have made to their Saudi Arabian counterparts on a permanent ceasefire in Yemen; and whether arms and military equipment is being (a) sold and (b) transferred to that country through existing (i) open and (ii) single export licences.Caroline Lucas, Green Party, Brighton PavillionThe UK welcomes the unilateral ceasefire announced by Saudi Arabia, which follows the call on 25 March by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a cease to hostilities in Yemen. We fully support the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths's call for all parties to engage in urgent political talks to convert this into a durable ceasefire. We have also secured a UN Security Council statement which urges the Houthis to engage constructively with his efforts: https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sc14159.doc.htm. A ceasefire will only have an effect on the ground if it is underpinned by a political deal. It is important that both the Houthis and the Government of Yemen seize this opportunity for progress. A permanent ceasefire and co-operation with the UN-led political process is the best defence we have against a potentially devastating outbreak of Covid-19 in Yemen.Until the Secretary of State for International Trade re-takes the licensing decisions remitted to her by the Court of Appeal, or concludes a successful appeal, the Government will not issue new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners for possible use in the conflict in Yemen. The Government publishes official statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data. These reports contain detailed information on the type of export licences issued, refused or revoked, by destination type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-04-21/38451Partner AssistanceYemen
4 March 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what restrictions the Government has put in place in relation to arms sales to Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement.Laurence Robertson, Conservative, TewkesburyAll arms sales are subject to export licensing. The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, last updated in a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2014, remains the policy for assessing all licence applications.Work to develop a revised assessment process enabling my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade to re-take the licensing decisions remitted to her by the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019, has advanced steadily and significantly since the judgment. An announcement will be made once the Secretary of State is in a position to re-take these decisions.Until such time as these decisions are retaken, or a successful appeal against the judgment is concluded, the Government is under an obligation not to grant any new licences to export items to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-03-04/25010Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
2 March 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to end violence against children in conflict and humanitarian crises.Patrick Grady, SNP, Glasgow NorthDFID is providing significant support to protect children from violence around the world in conflict and humanitarian crises. Our programmes assist children and reduce their risks of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.In August 2019 at the G7 Summit, the UK Prime Minister announced £90 million of new UK support for education in emergencies and crises across the world, this will support 600,000 children living in conflict areas and areas of proacted crises. Girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school in emergencies. This investment is a key plank of the PM’s plan to ensure more girls benefit from 12 years of education. This funding will provide safe spaces for girls and psycho-social support to those who have experienced violence and trauma.The UK’s £16 million per year contribution to the UN Peacebuilding Fund is strengthening access to justice for children in Haiti; reintegrating children associated with armed groups in Myanmar; and preventing the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia.DFID’s ‘Children on the Move’ programme is working in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan to develop and strengthen child protection systems for migrating, internally displaced, and refugee children. This is helping to prevent and respond to violence against some of the world’s most vulnerable children.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-03-02/23582Protection of civilians
2 March 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when the appeal to the Supreme Court in in respect of the process for issuing arms export licences to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners will take place.Harriet Baldwin, Conservative, West WorcestershireThe listing of the hearing is a matter for the Supreme Court and it would not be appropriate to comment until the Court has published the hearing dates.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-03-02/23416Partner Assistance
28 February 2020To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress her Department's Export Control Joint Unit is making on re-evaluating of extant export licences in relation to the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia.Harriet Baldwin, Conservative, West WorcestershireWork to develop a revised assessment process enabling the Secretary of State for International Trade to re-take the licensing decisions remitted to her by the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20 June 2019, has advanced steadily and significantly since the judgment. An announcement will be made once the Secretary of State is in a position to re-take these decisions.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-02-28/22386Partner AssistanceSaudi Arabia
4 February 2020To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department plans to update the National Cyber Security Strategy on the use of artificial intelligence.Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Labour, SloughOur current National Cyber Security Strategy (2016-2021) is delivering transformational change, building new capabilities and intervening to address the cyber threat.Our manifesto has committed to investing more in cyber security, embracing new technologies and legislating to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.The government's future approach to cyber security will form part of the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review, which will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities, including ways in which technological changes could have implications for our securityhttps://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-02-04/12323Technology
23 January 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the need for international action to prevent the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.Patrick Grady, Scottish National Party, Glasgow NorthThe use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas is governed by International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The UK complies with all appropriate legal obligations and takes its adherence to IHL extremely seriously. The UK is at the forefront of international discussions on the subject and officials contributed extensively to the Vienna Conference on Protection of Civilians in Urban Warfare in October 2019, in which steps towards a political declaration were taken. The issue centres on balancing the need to protect civilians with the requirement for responsible states to be able to operate effectively in the pursuit of national security and defence interests. Further discussions will take place in Geneva in February 2020 and officials from Her Majesty’s Government will continue to take a full and active role.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-01-23/7287Protection of Civilians; Law
6 January 2020To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to 2019 Unicef data recording more than 170,000 grave violations against children in war zones since 2010, what steps his Department is taking in co-operation with other countries to improve children’s safety in those areas.Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative, Morley and OutwoodThe UK is firmly committed to protecting children in armed conflict. We use our membership as a UN Security Council Permanent Member to prioritise conflict-related child protection issues in Council discussions and ensure that UN operations have the capacity and capability to address them. The UK is the largest single financial contributor to the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, contributing £800,000 in the last five years. The office works with parties to conflict that are committing grave violations to develop and implement action plans with the UN to (1) verify and release any child soldiers associated with armed groups and forces, (2) prevent re-recruitment and (3) the perpetration of other grave violations. The UK increased our funding for the 2019/20 financial year by a further £450,000 to the SRSG's core mandate and £50,000 for activities relating to the SRSG's Global Coalition for Reintegration.In 2018, the UK endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles, both key mechanisms for preventing grave violations against children. We collaborated with Sweden and others to agree Resolution 2427, adopted by the UN Security Council in July 2018, to strengthen protection mechanisms for children in armed conflict. We delivered a joint statement to the Human Rights Council in March 2019, reiterating our strong support for the mandate of the SRSG for Children And Armed Conflict, and called upon States to increase accountability for perpetrators of all six grave violations. Last year, the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UK signed up to the UN Voluntary Global Pledge – for Every Child, Every Right, which called for Member States to reaffirm their commitment to upholding and protecting child rights in the 21st century, and promoted children's perspectives in the development and assessment of strategies and programmes designed to realise their rights.https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-01-06/427Protection of Civilians
5 November 2019Congratulations to you, Mr Speaker. I thank the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Tom Tugendhat), for his comments. I have very much enjoyed being a member of that Committee.Will the Minister clarify what steps have been taken to review all sales of arms to Saudi Arabia? I can hardly bear to say the word “Yemen”, but there have been thousands of Saudi air attacks on civilians targets—including homes, markets, weddings, funerals, schools, hospitals and buses—that have killed thousands of civilians, including many children. Surely, that is in breach of international law. I hope that we are taking all the necessary steps to highlight the complicity of countries such as the UK in the alleged violations of international law.Ann Clwyd, Labour, Cynon ValleyI pay tribute to the right hon. Lady for her years of service to the House, particularly her years of service on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and for always keeping a laser-like focus on such issues. As she will be aware, we operate one of the most robust export control regimes in the world and take our licensing obligations seriously. When mistakes are made, things are investigated. As the Secretary of State for International Trade has said, the Government have apologised for the fact that export licences were issued in error, and we are investigating what happenedhttp://bit.ly/2XcxnCYYemen; IHL; Civilian protection
30 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of undertaking an independent audit of the adequacy of the UK’s security sector reform program in Sri Lanka.Sarah Champion, Labour, RotherhamUK support to security sector development in Sri Lanka is an integrated part of our post-conflict approach to building lasting stability and accountability. We have a long-standing partnership with the Sri Lanka police service where we provide training and support designed to enhance their community policing capacity. We are also engaged in discrete activities involving the military and wider security sector which are designed to to support the Sri Lankan military to adapt and modernise, in particular to be more professional and accountable. As most of this activity is delivered via the Conflict Security and Stability Fund which conducts regular monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme, we assess that an independent audit is not required. All CSSF programmes are subject to rigorous annual reviews, which are conducted by an expert team including at least one person who is independent from the programme. Annual review summaries for the Sri Lanka programme are published on gov.uk. Following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks that killed more than 250 people, the then Minister of State for Security visited Sri Lanka to demonstrate solidarity, and to offer UK assistance in countering terrorism and violent extremism. We continue to engage with the Sri Lankan authorities and other international partners on where UK support would be most helpful. All UK security sector assistance is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligationshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-30/7695Assistance; human rights; Sri Lanka
30 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his assessment is of the level of compliance with human rights law of the UK's security assistance to Sri Lanka after the 2019 Easter Sunday bombingsSarah Champion, Labour, RotherhamUK support to security sector development in Sri Lanka is an integrated part of our post-conflict approach to building lasting stability and accountability. We have a long-standing partnership with the Sri Lanka police service where we provide training and support designed to enhance their community policing capacity. We are also engaged in discrete activities involving the military and wider security sector which are designed to to support the Sri Lankan military to adapt and modernise, in particular to be more professional and accountable. As most of this activity is delivered via the Conflict Security and Stability Fund which conducts regular monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme, we assess that an independent audit is not required. All CSSF programmes are subject to rigorous annual reviews, which are conducted by an expert team including at least one person who is independent from the programme. Annual review summaries for the Sri Lanka programme are published on gov.uk. Following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks that killed more than 250 people, the then Minister of State for Security visited Sri Lanka to demonstrate solidarity, and to offer UK assistance in countering terrorism and violent extremism. We continue to engage with the Sri Lankan authorities and other international partners on where UK support would be most helpful. All UK security sector assistance is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-30/7696Assistance; human rights; Sri Lanka; counterterrorism
29 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the internal security training provided by the British military mission to the Saudi Arabian National Guard comprises; and whether riot control is included in that trainingLloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe British Military Mission provides a variety of training to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, including occasional internal security training which includes a public order element. The British Military Mission provides training in appropriate and proportionate use of force, the rules of engagement, human rights compliance and de-escalation procedures in line with the principles of Her Majesty's Government's Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessment.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-29/7200Assistance; training; Saudi Arabia; OSJA
29 October 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have to enhance cooperation between the UN, the EU, and international, regional, and sub-regional institutions, to advance support for peace in (1) the Sahel, (2) the African Great Lakes, and (3) the Horn of AfricaLord BoatengThe UK is enhancing its diplomatic and development efforts across the Sahel to improve international coordination. For example, the UK is expanding its Embassies in Mali and Mauritania, establishing new Embassies in Niger and Chad and setting up a regional hub in Dakar, Senegal. We are seeking to ensure that the Sahel Alliance of donors and the new Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel encourage close partnership between donors and Sahel governments and regional organisations. We are also working to ensure that the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) works effectively with the Malian Government and other security operations in the region. The UK will deploy 250 military personnel to this mission next year. The UK also supports efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to the Great Lakes region. The UK actively supports the work of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, who oversees the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF). This aims to address the root causes of conflict in the Great Lakes region. The UK is a significant bilateral donor in support of peacebuilding efforts in the region and supporter of MONUSCO, the UN peacekeeping mission in eastern DRC. In the Horn of Africa, the UK is the penholder for all discussions on Somalia in the United Nations Security Council. This includes drafting the mandates for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM); both of which place strong emphasis on the need for coordination between Somalia's international supporters. In Sudan, the UK has frequent engagement with the AU, EU and UN counterparts to provide coordinated political and technical assistance to support the programme of reform and change that the new government has initiated. In addition, with our UN Security Council partners, we are securing renewed mandates for the UN-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur and the UN mission in Abyei. These will support developing peace processes led by the new government of Sudan. The UK also takes a lead role in South Sudan as a member of the Troika (with Norway and the US) to press for an end to the conflict, and implementation of the Peace Agreement signed on 12 September 2018. We released a statement on 21 October alongside Troika partners urging all sides to demonstrate their commitment to peace by increasing co-operation and working together to resolve outstanding issues (see attached document). We also engage frequently with regional countries, particularly members of IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) who brokered the Agreement. The UK takes a prominent role with the UN, providing 300 troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. We also play an active role at the UN in New York to ensure attention and support of the international community on ending the conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 since 2013.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-10-29/HL488Sahel; cooperation; partnership
24 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will review his Department's policy on training military officers from countries with a record of human rights abuses.Stewart Malcom MCDonald, SNP, Glasgow SouthAll training offered to foreign military personnel is provided in accordance with an Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessment, which will evaluate the risk of the training being used in a way that is not in line with human rights and British values. Participation in UK training exposes personnel from other countries to UK values and standards and helps to promote concepts of accountability, transparency and human rights protection. OSJA assessments are reviewed annually and also if there is a change of circumstances which might significantly alter the risks relating to any existing Defence training programmes.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-24/5051Military Assistance; training; human rights
23 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to strengthen mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen.Stephen Twigg MP (Lab) (Liverpool West Derby)The UK takes alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights law extremely seriously. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of IHL, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from non-governmental and international organisations. In terms of human rights, Lord Ahmad made clear in his statement of 22 October that the overall human rights situation in Yemen remains deeply worrying, but that a political settlement to the conflict will create the conditions for the legitimate Government of Yemen to promote and protect the human rights of all Yemenishttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-23/4245IHL violations; Yemen
22 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the decision taken at the National Security Council in 2012 to collect and store evidence of breaches of international humanitarian law perpetrated during the Syrian conflict, what steps the Government is taking to use that evidence to tackle a culture of impunityDr Andrew Mitchell, Conservative, Sutton ColdfieldThe UK is committed to highlighting the appalling violations of international humanitarian law in Syria and to seeing those responsible held to account in the most appropriate jurisdiction. We are providing both political and financial support, including £950,000 to date, to the work of the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism which is gathering evidence for the prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law in Syria. This is part of the over £9 million that the UK has contributed since 2012 in support of efforts to gather evidence and assist victims of human rights abuses and violationshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-22/3591IHL violations; Syria
21 October 2019The recent attack on a Saudi oil facility was carried out using small pilotless drones capable of flying hundreds of miles. Will the Minister tell the House what defence the UK has against similar attacks?Eddie Hughes, Conservative, Walsall NorthThe Home Office has responsibility for counter-drone activity within the United Kingdom. The MOD has a layered air defence capability, and we are happy to allow other Departments to use that capability when they specifically request ithttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-10-21/debates/A8979067-C7CA-44CF-950E-C61ADA455704/TopicalQuestions#contribution-D758B85D-490D-4D63-934B-DFF3B9A6C7EFSaudi Arabia Aramco attack
21 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Saudi Arabian counterpart on the drone attacks on oil refineries in that countryJim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordThe Foreign Secretary raised the attacks with Saudi Minister of State Adel Al-Jubeir on 21 October. The UK is confident that Iran bears responsibility for the Aramco attacks in Saudi Arabia on 14 September. We continue to work for stability in the region with the international community, including Saudi Arabia, to uphold the international rules that protect us all.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-21/2724Saudi Arabia Aramco attack
17 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) civilian staff in his Department based in the UK, (b) military personnel based in the UK, (c) civilian staff in his Department based in Saudi Arabia and (d) military personnel based in Saudi Arabia were employed on the (i) Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project and (ii) Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Project on 1 April 2019Martin Docherty-Hughes, SNP, West DunbartonshireI refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for North East Fife (Stephen Gethins) to Question 286284 on 9 September 2019 --> The number of civilian and military personnel based in the UK and Saudi Arabia who were employed by the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project (SANGCOM) and the Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) on 1 April 2019 is shown below. The Saudi Arabian Government reimburses the UK Ministry of Defence for these staff costs and there is, therefore, no cost to the UK taxpayer.

Manpower number as at 1 April 2019


UK-based Civilian Staff: 4 (SANGCOM) and 69 (MODSAP)

UK-based Military Staff: 0 (SANGCOM) and 35 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Civilian Staff: 51 (SANGCOM) and 38 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Military Staff: 20 (SANGCOM) and 66 (MODSAP)

https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-17/1698 ; https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-09-03/286284/Saudi Arabia; assistance
18 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to strengthen mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria.Stephen Twigg MP (Lab) (Liverpool West Derby)The UK is committed to highlighting the appalling violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Syria and to seeing those responsible for the most serious crimes held to account in the most appropriate jurisdiction. We continue to support the UN Commission of Inquiry's investigations into human rights violations and abuses in Syria and the work of the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) which is gathering evidence for the prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law in Syria. The UK has contributed over £9 million since 2012 in support of Syrian and international efforts to gather evidence and assist victims of human rights abuses and violations, including £950,000 to the IIIM.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-18/1881IHL violations
17 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether lessons learned from recent urban operations in Raqqa and Mosul where the UK provided non-combat training and advice to partner forces have informed his Department’s plans to allocate funding for new urban capability to dismounted infantry.Martin Docherty-Hughes, SNP, West DunbartonshireFollowing any major conflict, lessons are identified and reviewed; changes are then made if required. The recent operations in Raqqa and Mosul are no different and have contributed to initiatives improving the equipment of the dismounted soldier in the urban environment.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-17/1695Urban conflict; Finances
15 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to fulfil the commitment to provide military assistance to Saudi Arabia made in the Written Statement of 23 May 2019, Official Report HCWS716Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownI refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 April 2019 to Question 237783 --> Question To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) UK military forces and (b) UK passport holders contracted to work for the (i) Saudi Arabian and (ii) UK Government are operating inside Yemen --> Answer: The UK provides information, advice and assistance to Saudi Arabia to respond to the threat of strategic weapons fired by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia. We are not and have never been a member of the Saudi-led coalition. Our assistance is clearly limited to addressing this specific threat. UK military personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and control. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not hold information on non-MOD personnel. That is a matter for the individual concerned.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-10-15/650; https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-03-27/237783Military assistance; Saudi Arabia; Yemen
2 October 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to strengthen support for mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestSupport for international criminal justice and international humanitarian law is a fundamental element of the UK's foreign policy. The UK believes that justice and accountability for the most serious international crimes are crucial to building lasting peace and security. In line with these principles, the British Government has supported the strengthening of a number of mechanisms to enable justice and accountability for the most serious international crimes. The UK, as a State Party to the Rome Statute, provides financial, political and practical support to the International Criminal Court. We are one of the largest contributors to the Court, contributing £9.7m in 2018. The UK, together with a number of other States Parties, is proposing a number of actions to strengthen the Court to help it to fulfil its mandate under the Rome Statute. These will be discussed at the Assembly of States Parties in December. Our goal is to improve the Court's ability to deliver justice for victims of atrocity crimes that fall under its jurisdiction. Since 2016, we have committed almost £1 million to the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to support the preparation of legal cases for serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian conflict. Following UK-led lobbying, on 1 August the UN Secretary General announced a new Board of Inquiry to investigate attacks on civilian infrastructure during the recent violence in Northwest Syria. We are also committed to supporting the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM). The UK played a leading role in the joint EU-OIC resolution that set up the IIMM, which will collect and preserve evidence of human rights violations for future prosecutions. Furthermore, we intend to establish a UK human rights sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 after we leave the EU. The regime designed to target individuals who have committed serious human rights violations, but who would otherwise not be addressed by the current geographical and thematic sanctions regimes. The UK is also committed to strengthening justice for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and holding perpetrators to account at the national and international levels through its Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). This is the main focus of the UK-hosted PSVI international conference in London, 18-20 November, and a key outcome will be to agree concrete actions with the international community to ensure accountability for these horrific crimes. We work through the multilateral system not only to support the implementation of agreed standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law; but also to hold countries to account when they violate those standards. For example, in the OSCE the UK was instrumental in invoking the Moscow Mechanism in response to the serious human rights violations in Chechnya. The UK has been vocal in both the Permanent Council and the Human Dimension Committee in its criticism of those participating states that fail to uphold universally agreed principles. Similarly, in the Council of Europe the UK has been consistent in challenging those member states that fail to meet their obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, including the execution of judgements by the Courthttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-24/290367Accountability for violation against IHL and IHRL
26 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the perpetrators of attacks on civilians in conflict zones are not supplied with arms, material or financial services by the UK.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton, PavillionThe Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework for regulating the export of arms and dual-use equipment from the UK. The Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used for internal repression, or in the commission of serious violations of International Humanitarian Law.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-26/291358Assistance; Civilian Protection; PoC; investigations
26 September 2019Toask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the involvement in the recent air strikes on a detention centre in Sana’a of UK (a) planes and (b) weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We will not issue any export licences for Saudi Arabia that are inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including Criterion 2(c): whether there is a clear risk that the goods might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-26/291331Arms Export; Saudi Arabia; IHL violations
26 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support a full, independent UN-led inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by all sides in the Yemeni conflict.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe UK takes alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) extremely seriously. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of IHL, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non-Governmental Organisations and international organisations. The Government is not opposing calls for international independent investigation, but foremost, we believe the Coalition should investigate alleged breaches of IHL attributed to them. They have best insight into their own military procedures and this allows them to really understand what went wrong and apply the lessons learnt in the best possible way. The UK regularly raises the importance of IHL and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations with Saudi Arabia, including at senior levels.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-26/291333IHL: Inquiry into violations in Yemen
26 September 2019Task the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made on the effectiveness of the Saudi-led coalition’s procedures for investigating airstrikes on civilian targets.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe UK regularly presses the Coalition on the importance of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and of conducting thorough and conclusive investigations into alleged violations of IHL. We welcome the release of over 100 statements by the Coalition Joint Incident Assessment Team from investigations into alleged breaches of IHL in Yemen. We welcome the improvements in the quantity and quality of JIAT’s statements. While we recognise there remains room for improvement and will continue to provide support, we are encouraged by the progress JIAT has made.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-26/291332Yemen; investigations into violations; JIAT
25 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to strengthen support for mechanisms enabling perpetrators to be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.Stephen Crabb, Conservative, Preseli PembrokeshireSupport for international criminal justice and international humanitarian law is a fundamental element of the UK's foreign policy. The UK believes that justice and accountability for the most serious international crimes are crucial to building lasting peace and security. In line with these principles, the British Government has supported the strengthening of a number of mechanisms to enable justice and accountability for the most serious international crimes. The UK, as a State Party to the Rome Statute, provides financial, political and practical support to the International Criminal Court. We are one of the largest contributors to the Court, contributing £9.7m in 2018. The UK, together with a number of other States Parties, is proposing a number of actions to strengthen the Court to help it to fulfil its mandate under the Rome Statute. These will be discussed at the Assembly of States Parties in December. Our goal is to improve the Court's ability to deliver justice for victims of atrocity crimes that fall under its jurisdiction. Since 2016, we have committed almost £1 million to the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to support the preparation of legal cases for serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian conflict. Following UK-led lobbying, on 1 August the UN Secretary General announced a new Board of Inquiry to investigate attacks on civilian infrastructure during the recent violence in Northwest Syria. We are also committed to supporting the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM). The UK played a leading role in the joint European Union-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation resolution that set up the IIMM, which will collect and preserve evidence of human rights violations for future prosecutions. Furthermore, we intend to establish a UK human rights sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 after we leave the EU. The regime designed to target individuals who have committed serious human rights violations, but who would otherwise not be addressed by the current geographical and thematic sanctions regimes. We work through the multilateral system not only to support the implementation of agreed standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law; but also to hold countries to account when they violate those standards. For example, in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the UK was instrumental in invoking the Moscow Mechanism in response to the serious human rights violations in Chechnya. The UK has been vocal in both the Permanent Council and the Human Dimension Committee in its criticism of those participating states that fail to uphold universally agreed principles. Similarly, in the Council of Europe the UK has been consistent in challenging those member states that fail to meet their obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights, including the execution of judgements by the Court.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-25/290889IHL; IHRL; violations of international law
26 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade if she will make an urgent statement on the recent unlawful award of arms export licences to Saudi Arabia, in contravention of a Court of Appeal ruling that determined that the UK must cease arms exports to the countryChris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestToday, I will be tabling a written ministerial statement updating Parliament on the latest situation in relation to the undertaking given to the Court of Appeal on 20 June about export licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners. As the Government informed the Court on 16 September and followed up with an affidavit today, my Department identified errors in the export licensing procedure in relation to the Saudi coalition’s activities in the conflict in Yemen. As I stated publicly on 16 September, I unreservedly apologise for the export licences that my Department issued in error. I have also given my unreserved apology to the Court. A procedure to ensure that export licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are not granted for goods for possible use in the conflict in Yemen was put in place on 20 June 2019. That followed the Court order and the then Secretary of State’s statement to Parliament. The Export Control Joint Unit subsequently issued export licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners and, in line with the agreed procedure, these were signed off at official, rather than ministerial, level. It subsequently came to light that two licences were in breach of the Court undertaking, and one licence was granted contrary to the statement in Parliament, as these licences were for goods that could possibly be used in the conflict in Yemen. Without seeking to prejudice the independent investigation, it appears that information pertaining to the conflict had not been fully shared across Government. I took immediate action as soon as the issue was brought to my attention on 12 September: taking immediate steps to inform the Court and Parliament; putting in place immediate interim procedures to make sure the errors could not happen again; and instigating a complete and full internal review of all licences granted for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners since 20 June. The Department’s permanent secretary, on my behalf, commissioned a full internal investigation. The Court and Parliament were informed on 16 September with the appropriate detail, and the interim procedures mean that senior officials in the Department for International Trade, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence guarantee that the latest information available to Government is used in their advice. All recommendations to grant licences for the export of items for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners will now be referred to Ministers, rather than being signed off at official level. The full review of licences for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners is currently being undertaken, and this internal review is still ongoing. As a result of the internal review so far, we have identified one further licence that has been granted in breach of the undertaking given to the Court of Appeal. This licence has not been used and has now been revoked. My officials are also carrying out an urgent review of the composition of the coalition. This has identified a further licence that is in breach of the parliamentary statement. We reassessed the licence in light of the latest information and subsequently revoked it in so far as it applies to Jordan. My officials continue to review all the information relating to licences granted for Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners since 20 June 2019, and we will be open and transparent with the Court and Parliament as to any new issues that emerge. In addition, the DIT permanent secretary, on my behalf, has commissioned a full independent investigation, which will establish the precise circumstances in which the licences were granted and whether any other licences have been granted in breach of the undertaking to the Court or contrary to the parliamentary statement, and it will confirm that procedures are in place so that no further breaches of the undertaking can occur. This investigation will be led by an independent senior official: the director general of policy group for the Department of Work and Pensions. It is possible that more cases will come to light. As I have done so far, I will keep the Court and Parliament informed as to any new information that emerges.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-24/290367IHL; IHRL; violations of international law
25 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that drone safety regulations are maintained when the UK leaves the EUJamie Stone, LibDem, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter RossThe UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK competent authority for the administration of legislation under the Air Navigation Order (ANO). The implications for the Regulation and operation of all military aircraft, including Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), when the UK leaves the EU has been thoroughly assessed by the Military Aviation Authority (MAA) (which forms part of the Defence Safety Authority) with relevant measures being developed in the case that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This will be ongoing to ensure compliance with all future developments in this area. The MAA continues to publish guidance to its Regulated Communityhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-25/291043Drone safety outside EU
24 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what provision the review of the UK’s protection of civilians strategy is making for the specific vulnerabilities faced by children in conflict zonesChris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestThe Government is reviewing its strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. It is committed to ensuring that the outcome of the review is fully consistent with International Humanitarian Law, which does not draw distinctions between categories of civilians. The Government's approach will benefit all civilians, with a clear understanding of their diverse needs, and will reflect both the changing international landscape and complexity of many modern conflicts. The review also provides an opportunity for the Government to consider recent research by academics and Non-Governmental Organisations in this important field.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-24/290365Civilian Protection; PoC
24 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department’s review of the UK’s protection of civilians strategy will embed (a) civilian casualty recording and (b) civilian harm-tracking mechanisms to improve understanding of the impacts of conflict on civilians.Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestThe Foreign and Commonwealth Office is leading a review of the Government's approach to Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict – an initiative that coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first Protection of Civilians Resolution to be agreed by the UN Security Council in 1999 (UNSCR 1265). The review involves contributions from both the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence and is an opportunity for the Government to take into account recent developments in the field of Protection of Civilians policy, including work by states, international organisations, civil society and academia, and to consider a wide range of issues, including inter alia casualty recording and civilian harm-tracking mechanisms. The review will be completed by the end of 2019.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-09-24/290366Civilian Protection; PoC
3 September 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they intend to take as a result of the report of the UN Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts Yemen: Collective Failure, Collective Responsibility published on 3 September, which details multiple violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen, and concludes that many of those "may result in individuals being held responsible for war crimes" and calls on the international community to "stop turning a blind eye to these violations and the intolerable humanitarian situation" and to refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict.The Marquess of LothianThis UN report underlines the deeply concerning human rights situation in Yemen and the importance of reaching a political solution to the conflict. The UK has been at the forefront of international efforts to bring a diplomatic solution to the appalling conflict in Yemen. We operate one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. The Government takes alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) extremely seriously. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of IHL, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from international organisationshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-09-03/HL17662Yemen; Arms Export; IHL
3 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to include violations committed against children living in conflict in its protection of civilians strategy.Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestInternational Humanitarian Law (IHL) provides a robust legal framework for the protection of all civilians (including children) and combatants, and the UK works closely with states and NGOs to promote compliance with this legal framework. The UK is committed to protecting children affected by armed conflict, including ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers. As an active member of the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), we have been working in particular on how to improve humanitarian access for children in conflict. The UK frequently applies diplomatic pressure to states and non-state armed groups who violate the rights of children in conflict contexts, and funds projects to help protect and rehabilitate vulnerable children. In April 2018, we endorsed the Safe School Declaration and we are encouraging other countries to follow suit. The UK worked very closely with Sweden and others to agree a UN Security Council Resolution on Children and Armed Conflict which was adopted in early July this year. The UK has also endorsed the guidance set out in both the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles, which aims to ensure that child protection is an operational priority for UN peacekeeping missions.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-09-03/169420Protection of civilians strategy; PoC; FCO
3 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to run a public consultation on updating the UK’s protection of civilians strategyChris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestThere are no plans to run a public consultation.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-09-03/169419Protection of civilians strategy; PoC; FCO
3 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of its protection of civilians strategy; and whether he has plans to update that guidance.Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestThe principles of the 2010 Protection of Civilians Strategy continue to guide our work and we consistently review our cross-Government approach. We aim to address the growing challenges of protecting civilians affected by conflict through political engagement, strengthening accountability, peace support operations, ensuring respect for International Humanitarian Law in UK military operations, strengthening state and non-state capacity, humanitarian action, and offering refuge to those in need of protection. The continuing evolution of our approach is demonstrated by the UK's adherence, in April 2018, to the Safe Schools Declaration which supports the protection and continuation of education in armed conflict.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-09-03/169418Protection of civilians strategy; PoC; FCO
3 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) expenditure was for the financial year 2018-19 and (b) budget is for 2019-20 for (i) the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project and (ii) the Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Project.Stephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeThe expenditure of the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project (SANGCOM) is recovered from the Saudi Arabian Government, but SANGCOM operates under a separate Memorandum of Understanding from Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Project (MODSAP), under which the details of such recoveries are confidential to the two Governments. The expenditure by the MODSAP in financial year 2018-19 amounted to £66.43 million. The budget however for financial year 2019-20 is £69.08 million. The costs of MODSAP are met from a management fee received from the Saudi Arabian Government.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-09-03/286285/Saudi Arabia; assistance
3 September 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) civilian staff in his Department based in the UK, (b) military personnel based in the UK, (c) civilian staff in his Department based in Saudi Arabia and (d) military personnel based in Saudi Arabia were employed by the (i) Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project and (ii) Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Project on 1 April 2019Stephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeThe number of civilian and military personnel based in the UK and Saudi Arabia who were employed by the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project (SANGCOM) and the Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) on 1 April 2019 is shown below. The Saudi Arabian Government reimburses the UK Ministry of Defence for these staff costs and there is, therefore, no cost to the UK taxpayer.

Manpower number as at 1 April 2019


UK-based Civilian Staff: 4 (SANGCOM) and 69 (MODSAP)

UK-based Military Staff: 0 (SANGCOM) and 35 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Civilian Staff: 51 (SANGCOM) and 38 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Military Staff: 20 (SANGCOM) and 66 (MODSAP)

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-09-03/286284/Saudi Arabia; assistance
23 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what evidence his Department based its estimate of the predicted registration of 170,000 drone users within the first 18 months of the UK Drone Registration SchemeLee Rowley, Conservative, North East DerbyshireThe Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) consultation document explains that the predicted 170,000 unmanned aircraft operator registration figure has been calculated using adoption rates for other national registration schemes (such as those in Ireland and the United States) against the UK population, and available research on drone use and attitudes. The document also sets out the rationale for the cost of ongoing upgrades to the service. The initial scheme will be launched with a minimum scope and service level and, in common with best practice and the Government Digital Service framework, the CAA plans to make minor service improvements and major functionality improvements. Major improvements may include a renewal invitation process and incorporate the existing unmanned aircraft service for commercial operators.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-23/281035Drone registration; civilian drones
23 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using British Model Flying Association drone registration data to avoid duplicate registrations in the UK Drone Registration SchemeLee Rowley, Conservative, North East DerbyshireSmall unmanned aircraft (SUAs) can be enormously beneficial, both commercially and as a leisure pursuit. However, SUAs also have the potential to pose a safety and security threat so it is important that those operating them understand the law and their responsibilities as a remote pilot of an aircraft in UK airspace. The changes to the Air Navigation Order laid before Parliament in May 2018 require that all operators of SUAs of all types weighing 250g – 20kg must register their aircraft by 30 November 2019. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working with the British Model Flying Association to see whether, as a service to their members, they may want to assist in the initial upload of data. The CAA will be launching an awareness-raising campaign to ensure that new and existing operators and remote pilots of small unmanned aircraft (SUAs) are aware of the requirement to register and take a competency test by 30 November 2019https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-23/281036Drone registration; civilian drones
22 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using drones to detect defects in roadsSir Greg Knight, Conservative, East YorkshireThe Government is committed to exploring all technology, including the use of drones, to identify road defects and improve road maintenance. The Infrastructure Inspection Pathfinder project, carried out by the Connected Places Catapult (previously Transport Systems Catapult) under the Government Drone Pathfinder Programme, aims at accelerating the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to enable UK businesses to access wider inspection and surveying capabilities of this smart technology.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-17/278390Civilian drones; repairs and maintenance
22 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterparts on (a) the accuracy of its reporting of civilian casualties due to US drone strikes and (b) the lasting effect of US drone strikes on civilian populations in SomaliaJo Swinson, LibDem, East DunbartonshireThe Secretary of State will build on the work of his predecessor and continue to have regular engagement with his US counterpart on counter-terrorism activities. We have not sought to make an independent assessment of the accuracy or impact of US strikes in Somalia; this would be challenging, given the difficult security environment. The main cause of civilian casualties in Somalia is the insurgency and indiscriminate terrorist activity of Al-Shabaab. Support from the US and others to the Federal Government of Somalia's efforts to counter terrorism is critical to limiting Al-Shabaab's capability to inflict harmhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-22/280178US drones; civilian casualties; Somalia
17 July 2019My Lords, yesterday the Defence Select Committee report found that MoD expenditure has been cut by an eye-watering 25% since 2010. The former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs said that during this time there has been, “a steady decline of Britain as the partner of first choice for the US military”. Does the Minister accept that austerity has undermined the UK/US defence partnership and that ultimately you cannot do security on the cheap?Lord TunnicliffeMy Lords, no, I do not think it has undermined the partnership. It is true that defence expenditure has declined as a proportion of GDP since the 1980s, but we have seen total defence expenditure steadily increase again since 2014. I would add only that, when we look at defence spending, it is not necessarily appropriate to try to compare like with like, because the nature of defence spending changes year by year, particularly the nature of operational spending. As I said, the core defence budget has been increasing and is currently £39 billionhttp://bit.ly/37dSYj7Partnership US/UK
11 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Black Hornet drones the British Army (a) possesses and (b) has deployed in active serviceKeith Vaz, Labour, Leicester EastThe Army first purchased 160 Black Hornet 1 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in 2011 as part of a £20 million contract with FLIR UAS (formerly Prox Dynamics). The systems were used on operations in Afghanistan, but that capability has since been phased out. In 2019 the Army purchased 90 of the upgraded Black Hornet 3 UAS at a contract value of £1.7 million. There is no intention to deploy the capability on operations at this timehttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-11/276153Black Hornet; MOD
11 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much her Department has spent on the acquisition of Black Hornet dronesKeith Vaz, Labour, Leicester EastThe Army first purchased 160 Black Hornet 1 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in 2011 as part of a £20 million contract with FLIR UAS (formerly Prox Dynamics). The systems were used on operations in Afghanistan, but that capability has since been phased out. In 2019 the Army purchased 90 of the upgraded Black Hornet 3 UAS at a contract value of £1.7 million. There is no intention to deploy the capability on operations at this timehttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-11/276154Black Hornet; MOD
11 July 2019Given the evidence from organisations such as the Red Cross, and given what we know about the humanitarian violations in Yemen, does the Secretary of State not think it is time, once and for all and ​regardless of any review, to look at the international evidence, and stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia to break international law?Patricia Gibson, SNP, North Ayrshire and ArranWe take a rigorous and robust view in this country, as the court said, and we are very aware of any potential breaches of international humanitarian law. I think the hon. Lady will find that the United Kingdom has one of the most stringent sets of rules around arms exporting anywhere in the world.http://bit.ly/2O8cKDQSaudi Arabia; assistance
10 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the United Nations Security Council letter dated 26 January 2018 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen mandated by Security Council resolution 2342 (2017) addressed to the President of the Security Council, what steps he took following publication of (a) footnotes 19 and 20 on page 267 and (b) footnote 39 page on 272 recording that components of missiles used by the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen were manufactured by EDO MBM Technology Limited, UK.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton, PavillionThe Government rigorously assesses arms export licences against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. We draw on a wide range of sources of information in making our assessments, including reports from the UN Panel of Experts. We will not issue any export licences for Saudi Arabia that are inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including Criterion 2(c): where there is a clear risk that the goods might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. The Government disagrees with the 20 June Court of Appeal judgment and is appealing to the Supreme Court. We are also carefully considering the implications of the judgment for decision-making. While we do this, we will not grant any new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and other coalition partners for items which might be used in the conflict in Yemen.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-10/275727Arms Exports; Saudi Arabia
9 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Royal Marines will be ready to use the Lightweight Multirole Missile against dronesAndrew Rosindell, Conservative, RomfordOn current plans the Royal Marines will declare initial NATO compliant operating capability for the Lightweight Multirole Missile in early 2021https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-09/275153counterdrone technolgy
8 July 2019Given the increasing threat that drones pose to our national security, as recently highlighted by the insightful BBC documentary “Britain’s Next Air Disaster”, what assessment has my right hon. Friend made of our armed forces’ ability to respond to a potential drone strike, and what investment is her Department making in new technology to rapidly neutralise such threats?Maggie Throup, Conservative, ErewashMy hon. Friend raises an important point, and the MOD takes the threat of the nefarious use of drones very seriously. Using the defence transformation fund, we are working with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, international partners and industry to further develop our counter-drone capabilities, and of course they will be used to protect defence infrastructure wherever they are needed. More broadly, a lot of the responsibility for protecting other sites in the UK lies with the police, but we will always be there to help if neededhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-07-08/debates/99378AD2-572F-46CD-B99B-EFCF6B25D09E/TopicalQuestions#contribution-1E6F08F5-88B5-48BB-8731-2324B056589Adrone threat to UK; counterdrone technology
8 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the article published in The Guardian on 18 June 2019 entitled The Saudis couldn't do it without us: the UK's true role in Yemen's deadly war and the article published in The Observer on 23 June 2019 entitled British target training of Saudi air force did not stop Yemen atrocities, if he will make an assessment of the effect on the UK’s international reputation of its role in training the Royal Saudi Air Force.Lyn Brown, Labour, West HamThe UK and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding bilateral relationship based on a number of pillars including defence, security, trade and investment, shared concerns about regional issues and energy security. The UK supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect its national security against critical threats, such as the ballistic missiles and drones fired by the Houthis into civilian areas in Saudi Arabia. The UK works with Saudi Arabia to ensure targeting procedures are compliant with International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and we regularly raise the importance of IHL compliance with Saudi Arabia, including at senior levels. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition and the UK’s role is limited to providing advice, information and assistance to help Saudi Arabia respond to airborne threats launched by the Houthis. The UK has no role in setting Coalition policy.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-08/274495Yemen; Saudi Arabia; assistance
3 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 141 of the Court of Appeal judgment in R (on the application of Campaign Against Arms Trade) v The Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason his Department's policy was not to assess past violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition in YemenLloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe central issue in relation to military exports to the Saudi-led coalition in the context of the conflict in Yemen is Criterion 2c of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the Government will not grant an export licence if there is a clear risk that the item might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL). Criterion 2c is a prospective and predictive exercise as to whether there is a clear risk in the future. Although the Government has always considered the historic record in respect of IHL, past instances are only a part of the picture in relation to Criterion 2c. The Court of Appeal judgment concerns reaching findings on IHL in specific incidents in the past. The Government’s approach has recognised the inherent difficulty of doing so where we do not have access to complete information. We are now considering the implications of the judgment for decision-makinghttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-03/272914Arms Export; Saudi Arabia; IHL violations
1 July 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to help protect children from the consequences of the bombing in Idlib, Syria.Frank Field, Independent (prev. L)The Government is immensely concerned about the plight of all civilians, particularly children, affected by the current conflict in Idlib and surrounding areas. Last year DFID provided over £80m humanitarian assistance to Northwest Syria. Our UN and NGO partners are working to meet growing needs among displaced people in the region, including the estimated 100,000 children displaced since 1 May, through the distribution of food, shelter and other essential items. We are also providing education and safe spaces for children. Whilst this work has been impacted by the recent conflict in the region and the senseless attacks on civilian infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, to date our partners are continuing to be able to work effectively in the region to help those most in need. In addition to humanitarian assistance, we continue to use our position on the UN Security Council to call out the regime and Russia for their attacks on schools and hospitals, breaching international law and needlessly impacting civilians.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-07-01/271376Civilian Protection; children, Syria
26 June 2019If that is the case, why are the Government appealing the judgment instead of promoting a peace settlement in Yemen? Since 2016, for three years, UN experts have been saying that the Saudi coalition has violated international humanitarian law in Yemen. This air campaign has killed tens of thousands of people, and injured and displaced many more. The Government say: “there can be no military solution to this particular conflict. There can only be a negotiated and political solution.”—[Official Report, 20 June 2019; Vol. 662, c. 380.] If that is the case, why have they already pumped £4.6 billion of military equipment into this brutal bombardment?Jeremby Corbyn, Labour, Islington NorthWhat we do believe, as I have just said—I said it in answer to the right hon. Gentleman’s last question and I said it, I think, in answer to his first question—is that the only way to ensure the security and stability of Yemen for the future is through a political settlement. That is why this Government are supporting the work being done by the UN special envoy, Martin Griffiths, and that is why we are continuing to use our diplomatic efforts, including, as I said, the Foreign Secretary holding a Yemen Quad on Saturday to encourage others around the table. We are very clear that we support the efforts to secure the agreement by the parties to the conflict to implement the Stockholm ​agreements. That is an important part of the process leading to peace and a political solution. That work is essential so that progress can be made at the next round of these talks and so that the humanitarian supply lines can be opened uphttp://bit.ly/2FzPICsYemen; arms export; assistance
26 June 2019The Prime Minister does not appear to understand the depth of feeling at the UN, Parliaments around the world or even the US Senate and the House on this situation. The UN itself has warned that by the end of 2019, if the war continues, 230,000 people will have lost their lives, of whom 140,000 are children under the age of five. The UK and EU law state that the Government must: “not grant a licence if there is a clear risk that the items used might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.” The Government said they had used the following criteria to judge “an understanding of Saudi military procedures; continuing engagement with the Saudis at the highest level” and “Saudi public commitments to IHL”.—[Official Report, 20 June 2019; Vol. 662, c. 375-6.] If the Saudi Government say they are respecting human rights, do we then ignore all evidence on the ground in Yemen and continue to sell weapons to the regime, which has led to this appalling death toll already in this conflict?Jeremby Corbyn, Labour, Islington NorthFirst, as I have made clear, we are seeking permission to appeal the recent judgment. The judgment is not about whether the Government made the right or wrong decisions, but about the decision-making process and whether it was rational. We are considering the implications of the judgment, alongside seeking permission to appeal, and while we do that, we will not grant any new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners that might be used in the conflict in Yemen. The right hon. Gentleman talks about the conflict in Yemen. As I have just said, let us remember what happened and why we are seeing this conflict in Yemen: it was the overthrow of the internationally recognised Government by rebel insurgents. We are all concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. [Interruption.] The shadow Foreign Secretary might like, as this is an area of concern to her remit, to actually listen to what the Government are doing. [Interruption.] We are all concerned about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. That is why, since the start of the conflict in 2015, our total commitment to Yemen now stands at £770 million. We are one of the major contributors to support for the humanitarian effort. Ultimately, the only way to resolve this issue is through a political settlement. That is why we are supporting the efforts of the UN special envoy, Martin Griffiths.http://bit.ly/2Pjsh7LYemen; arms export; assistance
26 June 2019Germany, as an EU member state, has banned arms exports to Saudi Arabia, so has Denmark, and both the US Senate and House of Representatives have voted to ban arms exports as well. The UN describes the situation in Yemen as “humanity’s biggest preventable disaster”, but the Government see fit to continue selling arms to Saudi Arabia during that situation, so may I ask the Prime Minister a very simple question? Does she believe there are serious ongoing violations of international humanitarian law by Saudi Arabia in Yemen—yes or no?Jeremby Corbyn, Labour, Islington NorthThe right hon. Gentleman knows very well that we consider these issues very carefully when we are dealing with these arms export licences, as has just been quoted by the Court, but he references the situation in Yemen. This cannot go on. We need a political settlement in Yemen. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that the Saudi-led intervention was at the request of the legitimate President of Yemen following a rebel insurgency, which overthrew the internationally recognised Government, and the intervention has been acknowledged by the United Nations. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary held a Yemen Quad meeting on Saturday, expressing concerns at escalating tensions, but what do we see the Labour party do? One of the right hon. Gentleman’s MPs was inviting rebel leaders of the insurgency into the House of Commons—yet again, Labour on the wrong side of the argument.http://bit.ly/2Yt1pSYYemen; arms export; assistance; IHL violations; IHL
25 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made in the past year in combating the use of drones to supply illegal drugs to prisonersGregory Campbell, DUP, East LondonderryWe are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for organised criminals to bring contraband, including drugs, into prisons. Prisons use netting and window grilles to stop drones from delivering contraband successfully. To deter criminals, HM Prison and Probation Service is also working closely with the police to arrest suspected drone operators and secure convictions. Thanks to such joint working, and following the largest investigation of its kind, an organised criminal gang of 15 were collectively sentenced in October 2018 to nearly 40 years in prison for using drones to deliver drugs into Merseyside prisons. The ringleader received a sentence of 10 years, the highest single sentence for drone-related activity to date. Where contraband gets into prisons using a drone, our counter-measures assist us to retrieve them and frustrate further criminal activity. In respect of drugs, our Drugs Taskforce is working with law enforcement to restrict supply. It has also developed a national Prison Drug Strategy which was published in April to reduce demand for drugs and build recovery, as well as restrict supply. We have also invested £70 million to improve safety, security and decency in prisons, allowing us to fund new X-ray body scanners, improved searching techniques, phone-blocking technology and a financial crime unit to target organised crime group members operating in prisons.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-25/268997UAVs; prisons
25 June 2019What steps he is taking to strengthen the rules-based international orderJack Brereton, Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent SouthInternational institutions and international law have since 1945 provided the framework for a sustained rise in global peace and prosperity. As a permanent member of the Security Council, we consider the United Nations to be the foundation of peace and security around the world. The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to defend the system—for example, by challenging Russian attempts to undermine international institutions and international law.http://bit.ly/2ZOD4XKInternational Rules Based Order; UK global leadership
25 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 266880 on Yemen: Military Intervention and with reference to the news article entitled, The Saudis couldn’t do it without us: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war, published by The Guardian on 18 June 2019 in which a senior UK diplomatic source stated that the UK was a party to the conflict in Yemen, for what reason the Answer stated that the UK is not part of the coalition operating in Yemen but did not state whether the UK is a party to the conflictLloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownAs stated in my answer of 24 June (PQ 266880), the UK is not part of the Saudi-led Coalition operating in Yemen. The UK does supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protect its national security against critical threats, such as the ballistic missiles and drones fired by the Houthis into civilian areas in Saudi Arabia. Because of this, we decided to provide information, advice and assistance to Saudi Arabia in responding to this threat. This assistance is part of our ongoing defence relationship with Saudi Arabia. This does not mean that the UK has a role in setting Coalition policy and our assistance is clearly limited to addressing this specific threat. We cannot comment further for operational security reasons except to say that all UK military personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and controlhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-25/269109UK assistance; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; party to conflict
25 June 2019I thank the Minister for his reply. I was given an assurance in a past written response to a Question that every sale of arms from the UK undergoes a rigorous assessment in the light of serious violations of international humanitarian law. Yet in 2018 a Minister in the other place said: “The MOD does not investigate allegations of IHL violations”, and in 2016, as evidenced in the Court of Appeal last week, the decision was made that there would be no assessment of past violations of international humanitarian law with regard to Saudi Arabia. Can the Minister clarify whether international humanitarian law is taken into consideration when selling weapons?The Lord Bishop of St AlbansMy Lords, I thank the right reverend Prelate for his question. The key test for granting export licences in these circumstances is criterion 2c of the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria, which considers whether there is a clear risk that the items to be exported might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law. The right reverend Prelate then moved on to a decision made in 2016. At that point, international humanitarian law was considered on past events as well, and the judgment under ground 1 was that we should also take into account past events.http://bit.ly/32M5v9ZArms exports; Saudi Arabia; IHL violations
24 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the recent Court of Appeal ruling on arms exports to Saudi Arabia and criterion 2c of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria which states that licences should not be granted if there is a clear risk the equipment to be exported might be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law, if he will suspend arms sales to (a) Bahrain and (b) the United Arab Emirates.Tom Brake, Libdem, Carshalton and WallingtonThe Government is carefully considering the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment of 20 June for decision making under Criterion 2c of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export licensing Criteria. While we do we will not grant any new licences for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt) for possible use in the conflict in Yemen.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-24/268343Arms export; Saudi Arabia; Egypt; Bahrain; UAE; Kuwait; Yemen
24 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the written statement of 23 May 2018, HCWS716, on Saudi Arabia, whether the information, advice and assistance provided by his Department to Saudi Arabia classifies the UK as a party to the conflict in YemenLloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe former Foreign Secretary made clear in the written statement HCWS716 that the UK is not a member of the Saudi-led coalition. Our position is unchanged. Our assistance is limited to addressing the specific threats faced by the Saudis. We are providing information, advice and training to help Saudi Arabia respond to these threatshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-24/268560Assistance; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; party to conflict
24 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 141 of the 20 June 2019 Court of Appeal Judgment for what reason the Government stopped considering Saudi Arabia's past violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen in 2016.Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe Government has always taken into account the past record of Saudi Arabia in respect of international humanitarian law when making export licensing decisions. The Court of Appeal judgment concerns reaching findings on IHL in specific incidents. The Government’s approach has recognised the inherent difficulty of doing so where we do not have access to complete information. We are now considering the implications of the judgment for decision-makinghttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-24/268570Arms export; Saudi Arabia; past violations
24 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the regulation of the sale of dronesGraham P Jones, Labour, HyndburnAs set out in the Government’s recent drone consultation response on 7 January 2019, my Department is working with the Home Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on product standards for drones. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also published new product standards for drones which will become fully applicable by 2022. These include a mandatory requirement for drones to be fitted with geo-awareness software and being remotely identifiable before being placed on the market. At an international level, the International Organization for Standardization is currently developing standards for drone safety and operation in which the British Standards Institution (BSI) committee members represent the UK. It is vital that we balance maintaining the UK’s world-leading position in aviation safety and security with supporting the development of this emerging industry.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-24/268456drone regulation
24 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if she will publish the (a) dates of training, (b) organisations trained and (c) programmes of training events provided by UK military personnel to the Saudi Arabian (i) armed forces and (ii) National Guard since March 2015 to help with compliance with International Humanitarian Law.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton, PavillionAll training provided in the UK or in Saudi Arabia by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, National Guard (SANG), and Saudi MOD - supports and encourages compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Details of all training provided since March 2015 is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-24/268451Saudi Arabia; assistance
21 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent diplomatic steps he has taken to help reduce the number of children killed by airstrikes in Yemen.Jim Cunningham (Civentry South) (Lab)We regularly share experience with the Saudis for minimising civilian casualties. The UK continues to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-21/267712Civilian harm; children; civilian protection; PoC
19 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to The Guardian report on 18 June 2019 on alleged UK military involvement in Yemen, whether the UK is a party to the conflict in Yemen.Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe UK is not part of the coalition operating in Yemen and the UK has no role in setting coalition policy. Our assistance is limited to addressing the specific threats faced by the Saudis. We are providing information, advice and training to help Saudi Arabia respond to these threats. We have also shared techniques with the Saudis for minimising civilian casualties. The UK has a range of British personnel deployed across the region, but all remain under British command and controlhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-19/266880UK assistance; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; party to conflict
18 June 2019..... the prevention of and protection from mass atrocities remain almost wholly absent from the UK’s national framework of civilian protection. What steps is the Secretary of State taking to cover this glaring omission? Furthermore, will he ensure that the upcoming review of the Government’s protection of civilians in conflict strategy reflects the changing nature of modern conflict, which blurs the lines between combatants and non-combatants?Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee WestI am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his remarks. He must know that what we are able to do depends very much on access and safety and whether or not we can get to those who are most in need. At the moment, that is extremely problematic. We would prevail upon all parties to this to allow humanitarian access and to allow those of us who wish to protect civilians to be able to access those civilians wherever they are, so that the necessary protection can be afforded. However, he has to understand the difficulty of assuring the safety and security of those now delivering aid, and I pay tribute to those who provide aid under extremely difficult circumstances. He will be aware that a number of those individuals in our troubled world today have paid with their lives for that. It is absolutely a duty that we in Government and our agencies have to ensure that they are not put at risk more than is absolutely necessary in trying to do their vital work.http://bit.ly/33K4pNmCivilian Protection; PoC; Urban conflict; modern warfare
13 June 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce regulations that require manufacturers to have a signalling beacon on all (1) drones, and (2) other flying toys.Viscount Waverley, CrossbenchThe European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have published new product standards for drones which will become fully applicable by 2022. Some of these standards include the mandatory requirement for drones to be fitted with a geo-awareness software before being placed on the market. This software will notify the pilot when the drone is entering a restricted zone and when it’s coming close to other aircraft. This new requirement will ensure that our airspace is safely shared and managed more effectively to maintain the UK’s strong air safety recordhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-06-13/HL16363regulation
13 June 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to limit (1) the distance that drones may travel, and (2) the height that drones may reach to 125 metres, to reduce the risk of potential issues in airspaceViscount Waverley, CrossbenchThe Air Navigation Order 2016 already prohibits flying small unmanned aircraft beyond the line of sight or above 400ft, which is just over 121 metres, without permission or an exemption from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-06-13/HL16362drone regulation
12 June 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the use of drones on increasing the effectiveness of countering terrorism, piracy, kidnappings and other offences combatted by surveillance technologiesViscount Waverley, CrossbenchDecisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for the Police and other law enforcement agencieshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-06-12/HL16335surveillence
10 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to tackle the potential use of drones in terrorist attacksAndrew Rosindell, Conservative, RomfordThe Home Office is leading work across government to ensure a robust ap-proach to the illegal misuse of drones. This includes developing policy over how counter-measures can be best used to respond to malicious and illegal drone use, and accelerating work with the security community and industry to test and evaluate counter-drone technologies. We are working closely with UK sectors at risk to determine how they can be best protected, reducing the likelihood and impact of malicious incidents. To further strengthen our ability to tackle drone misuse, an Unmanned Aircraft Bill is currently being prepared which will give the police enhanced powers to enforce drone-related rules. From 30 November 2019 a registration requirement will also come into force for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more, as will a requirement for remote pilots of drones to take a competency test. The Department for Transport has also extended the restriction zone around airports where the flying of drones is prohibited. The new zones, which came into force in March this year, cover an airport’s aerodrome traffic zone and 5km extensions from the end of runways. This builds on the government’s changes to the law last year, which made it illegal to fly a drone above 400 feet or within 1 km of an airporthttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-10/262277terrorist use of drones
3 June 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the presence of the Islamic State for West Africa Province in the north-east of NigeriaLiz McInnes, Labour, Haywood and MiddletonWe are deeply concerned by the increase in Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) activity in North Eastern Nigeria. Together with international partners, we are committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours in tackling threats to regional stability by ISWA and Boko Haram. Humanitarian operations have been placed under pressure and some suspended, cutting off urgently needed support for up to 120,000 people. We are working with international partners to support contingency planning to protect aid workers, providing strategic military advice and training, and continue to review options for additional UK assistancehttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-06-03/259252ISIL; Nigeria; assistance
22 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the UK Government are providing security support or assistance to the Cameroonian Government in the form of (a) financial assistance, (b) security infrastructure, (c) military training and (d) weaponryLyn Brown, Labour, West HamThe UK has a longstanding relationship with Cameroon and we value the shared history and cooperation. The UK and Cameroon cooperate closely in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, for which the UK provides limited military training. This training is provided in line with the UK Government's Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidance and emphasises the importance of human rights. Cameroon remains a key and effective contributor to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), established in 2015 to facilitate regional co-ordination of military operations against Boko Haram.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-22/257452Security assistance; Cameroon
22 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what surveillance and enforcement procedures are in place to ensure that weapons and military equipment in contravention of international agreements to which the UK is a signatory are not (a) promoted, (b) sold during and (c) sold following the Defence and Security Equipment International 2019.Lyn Brown, Labour, West HamWe do not hold information about the cost of surveillance and enforcement activities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibitions in 2013, 2015, 2017. All exports of military items from the UK are subject to export controls. Each export licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include criteria for human rights and international humanitarian law, and sanctions and embargoes. The Government will not grant a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Government approval is also required for the release of classified defence-related information or equipment by UK exporters to overseas entities for marketing purposes. The Export Control Joint Unit attends some UK arms fairs (including DSEI) to raise awareness with the organisers and the exhibitors of their export control obligations.
22 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what surveillance and enforcement measures are in place to ensure that no onward sales are made to countries subject to arms embargo following sales to other countries at the Defence and Security Equipment International 2019.Lyn Brown, Labour, West HamWe do not hold information about the cost of surveillance and enforcement activities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibitions in 2013, 2015, 2017. All exports of military items from the UK are subject to export controls. Each export licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include criteria for human rights and international humanitarian law, and sanctions and embargoes. The Government will not grant a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Government approval is also required for the release of classified defence-related information or equipment by UK exporters to overseas entities for marketing purposes. The Export Control Joint Unit attends some UK arms fairs (including DSEI) to raise awareness with the organisers and the exhibitors of their export control obligations.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-23/257712Arms Exports (enforcement & surveillence of); IHL violations
22 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what surveillance and enforcement measures are in place to ensure that no direct sales are made to countries subject to arms embargo at Defence and Security Equipment International 2019.Lyn Brown, Labour, West HamWe do not hold information about the cost of surveillance and enforcement activities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibitions in 2013, 2015, 2017. All exports of military items from the UK are subject to export controls. Each export licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include criteria for human rights and international humanitarian law, and sanctions and embargoes. The Government will not grant a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Government approval is also required for the release of classified defence-related information or equipment by UK exporters to overseas entities for marketing purposes. The Export Control Joint Unit attends some UK arms fairs (including DSEI) to raise awareness with the organisers and the exhibitors of their export control obligations.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-22/257467Arms Exports (enforcement & surveillence of); IHL violations
22 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what information his Department holds on sales of arms and military equipment associated with (a) human rights abuses and (b) war crimes that were originally sold by the UK defence industry where the original sale was made a result of a UK arms fairLyn Brown, Labour, West HamWe do not hold information about the cost of surveillance and enforcement activities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibitions in 2013, 2015, 2017. All exports of military items from the UK are subject to export controls. Each export licence application is rigorously assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include criteria for human rights and international humanitarian law, and sanctions and embargoes. The Government will not grant a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Government approval is also required for the release of classified defence-related information or equipment by UK exporters to overseas entities for marketing purposes. The Export Control Joint Unit attends some UK arms fairs (including DSEI) to raise awareness with the organisers and the exhibitors of their export control obligations.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-22/257463Arms Exports (enforcement & surveillence of)
9 May 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received about the Ministry of Defence's definition of an autonomous weapons system since the publication of the report of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee AI in the UK: Ready, Willing and Able on 16 April 2018.Lord Browne of Ladyton
Her Majesty's Government has received some representations on this subject from Parliamentarians. The House of Lords report recommended that "the UK's definition of autonomous weapons should be realigned to be the same, or similar, as that used by the rest of the world". However, the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Government Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems is yet to achieve consensus on an internationally accepted definition or set of characteristics for autonomous weapons.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-24.HL15333.h&s=artificial+intelligence#gHL15333.q0Autonomous weapons
21 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of damage to facilities funded by British NGOs of the bombing campaign by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe take all reports of facilities damaged by airstrikes in Yemen very seriously and regularly meet with NGOs to discuss their concerns. We use every opportunity to raise the importance of complying with international humanitarian law with the Saudi Arabian government and other members of the Coalition, including requesting investigations into alleged incidents of concern. Most recently we raised concerns about the airstrikes in Sana’a on 16 May and the Coalition confirmed they are taking steps to investigate the incident.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-21/256987Airstrikes Yemen; damage to facilities funded by UK NGOs
21 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to respond to reports from Oxfam of airstrikes against their facilities in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe take all reports of facilities damaged by airstrikes in Yemen very seriously and regularly meet with NGOs to discuss their concerns. We use every opportunity to raise the importance of complying with international humanitarian law with the Saudi Arabian government and other members of the Coalition, including requesting investigations into alleged incidents of concern. Most recently we raised concerns about the airstrikes in Sana’a on 16 May and the Coalition confirmed they are taking steps to investigate the incident.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-21/256988Yemen; Airstrikes
21 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many alleged violations of international humanitarian law have been investigated by the Joint Incidents Assessment Team; and how many of those investigations have resulted in blame being apportioned to (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) Houthi rebels.Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownThe Joint Incident Assessment Team has published 136 statements regarding its investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law. The reports do not attribute blame.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-21/257090JIAT; IHL violations
17 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the bombings at (a) a Sanaa school on 7 April 2019, (b) a Save the Children-supported hospital on 26 March 2019 and (c) other bombings of civilian infrastructure in Yemen, what discussions he has had with his Saudi counterpart on the timeframe for the conclusion of the Saudi-led Coalition’s investigations into those incidents; and whether the results of those investigations will be made publicly available.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldWe are deeply concerned by reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. Our officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation. We are also deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan on 7 April 2019. We have raised the incident with the Coalition who have announced an investigation in line with standard practices. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-17/255648Saudi Arabia; Airstrikes; IHL violations
17 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure that deconflicted (a) hospitals and (b) schools in Yemen are protected from bombing.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldWe have been clear that all parties to the conflict in Yemen must comply with international humanitarian law. We continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemenhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-17/255649Yemen; IHL
9 May 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to maintain the serviceability of the UK fleet of Thales Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicles.Lord Campbell of PittenweemThe Army have awarded Thales a Future Support Contract to maintain the serviceability of the Watchkeeper Unmanned Air System from 1 April 2019 for the next five years.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-30.HL15427.h&s=unmanned+aerial+vehicle#gHL15427.q0
8 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent introduction by the Civil Aviation Authority of Flight Restriction Zones around protected aerodromes on the interests of members of the British Model Flying Association in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.Sylvia Hermon MP (Independent) (North Down)The flight restriction zone around aerodromes was developed in response to submissions gathered through our consultation on the safe and effective regulation of drones, ‘Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK’. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed in September 2018 and received around 5,000 responses. A range of options were considered when developing the extended restriction zone and factors including impacts on all airspace users, safety, security and the communication and enforceability of the zone were all evaluated.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-05-01.249885.h&s=drone#g249885.r0civilian drones; regulations
3 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 7 March 2019 to Question 228123 on Saudi Arabia: military aid, what the function is of the staff working in a liaison capacity inside the Saudi headquarters.Lloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownStaff working in any military liaison capacity ensure the timely flow of information between the Ministry of Defence in London, UK headquarters at home and abroad, and the overseas headquarters they are assigned to. Military liaison officers in Saudi Arabia conduct Key Leader Engagement and relationship building, and develop understanding of operational matters within the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence and appropriate Saudi headquarters. More specifically, as I said in my reply to Question 228123, our liaison officers working in the Saudi Air Operations Centre observe Saudi-led coalition air operations in Yemen to help the UK support Saudi compliance with International Humanitarian Law.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-03/250790Military assistance; Saudi Arabia
1 May 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent introduction by the Civil Aviation Authority of Flight Restriction Zones around protected aerodromes on the interests of members of the British Model Flying Association in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statementLady Hermon, Independent, North DownThe flight restriction zone around aerodromes was developed in response to submissions gathered through our consultation on the safe and effective regulation of drones, ‘Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK’. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed in September 2018 and received around 5,000 responses. A range of options were considered when developing the extended restriction zone and factors including impacts on all airspace users, safety, security and the communication and enforceability of the zone were all evaluated. The new legislation takes the same approach as the former restriction zone by allowing any small unmanned aircraft, including model aircraft, to fly within the restriction zone where the relevant permission has been received. When an Air Traffic Control Unit (ATCU) is operational, permission needs to be sought from this unit. The CAA will be assessing the permissions process as part of a wider review of airport restriction zones later this year.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-05-01/249885drone regulation
24 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support an independent investigation into the airstrike on two schools in Sana’a, Yemen on 7 April 2019.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of whether the airstrike on two schools in Sana’a, Yemen on 7 April 2019 was a legitimate military operation in line with international humanitarian law.
Stephen Twigg MP (Lab) (Liverpool West Derby)We are deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan. British officials have raised this incident with Saudi officials, who have denied publicly that an airstrike took place, and British officials are urgently seeking information from all credible sources. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-11.244004.h&s=UN+Secretary-General#g244004.r0civilian casualties; IHL, yemen
23 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee last visited NSA/NRO Menwith Hill.Alex Sobel MPThe Intelligence and Security Committee does not comment on the details of its work programme. Where appropriate it publishes information on visits it has undertaken in its Annual Reports.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-09.242955.h&s=speaker%3A24729#g242955.r0
16 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK's involvement in drone activities in the Yemen following the ruling of the Higher Administrative Court in Münster in the case of bin Ali Jaber vs Germany.Lord Hodgson of Astley AbbottsAny use of force by the UK complies fully with UK domestic and applicable international law.

We are aware of the ruling by the German Higher Administrative Court on 19 March 2019 that Germany has a responsibility for ensuring that United States (US) operations conducted from German territory accord with international law. The Court also held that a lower Court had correctly deemed the case inadmissible, on the grounds that it could not be proved that the plaintiff's father was killed by a US drone strike on the day in question in 2012. The Court also stated that it could not be proved that the German government had knowledge of the use of Ramstein for drone strikes in 2012.
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-02.HL15003.h&s=drone#gHL15003.q0military drone; legality; international law
16 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what methods they use to estimate the numbers of civilian deaths resulting from the use of remote-controlled drones in counter-terrorist operations either directly by the UK or by their allies in (1) Yemen, (2) Pakistan, and (3) North Africa; and what figures are available for such casualties.The Marquess of Lothian (Con)The United Kingdom has not conducted airstrikes from any platform, either manned or unmanned, in counter-terrorism operations in Yemen, Pakistan or North Africa. We do not comment on the operations of other countries.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-04.HL15069.h&s=civilian+casualties#gHL15069.q0Civilian casualties; military drones
11 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support an independent investigation into the airstrike on two schools in Sana’a, Yemen on 7 April 2019.Stephen Twigg MP (Lab) (Liverpool West Derby)We are deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan. British officials have raised this incident with Saudi officials, who have denied publicly that an airstrike took place, and British officials are urgently seeking information from all credible sources. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemenhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-04-11/244004Airstrikes; Yemen; Saudi Arabia; IHL
11 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of whether the airstrike on two schools in Sana’a, Yemen on 7 April 2019 was a legitimate military operation in line with international humanitarian lawStephen Twigg MP (Lab) (Liverpool West Derby)We are deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan. British officials have raised this incident with Saudi officials, who have denied publicly that an airstrike took place, and British officials are urgently seeking information from all credible sources. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-04-11/244005Yemen; Airstrike; Saudi Arabia; IHL violation
11 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Trade etc. in Dual-Use Items and Firearms etc. (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, on what basis the Government will determine what constitutes a human rights violation.Judith Cummins, Labour, Bradford SouthAfter EU Exit export licence applications will continue to be assessed in the same way as they are now, on a case-by-case basis against the eight criteria set out in the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Criterion 2 covers the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law. A licence would not be granted if to do so was inconsistent with the Criteria. The Criteria are statutory guidance issued under section 9 of the Export Control Act 2002 as most recently announced to Parliament in a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2014. After the UK leaves the EU, the Criteria will remain in force until such time as any new or amended guidance is announced to Parliament.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-04-11/244135Dual use arms; arms export; Brexit
10 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Written Statement of 8 April 2019 Official Report HCWS1498 on changes in the terminology from airstrikes to weapon release events when reporting the UK's contribution to the Counter-Daesh campaign, whether a Reaper launching two or more Hellfire missiles at one target counts as one weapon release event.Anneliese Dodds (Lab)Yes. A Weapon Release Event is when one or more weapons of the same type are released from the same aircraft, at the same time, at the same target.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-04-10/243570
10 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are monitoring the threat posed by Islamic terrorists in Mali and neighbouring countries; and what role the UK currently has in the EU capacity-building missions in Mali and the Sahel.The Earl of SandwichWe are deeply concerned by the security situation in the region, including recent attacks against civilians and security forces operating in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Working alongside international partners, we continue to monitor the threat posed by terrorist groups in Mali and neighbouring countries and we remain committed to helping to address complex challenges in the Sahel. The UK has seconded six military and two civilian personnel to the EU Training mission (EUTM) in Mali, who provide strategic advice; infantry, medical and counter-Improvised Explosive Device training; and international humanitarian law and gender expertise. Although there have been no UK personnel in the EU capacity building (EUCAP) missions in Mali and Niger since our last secondment in 2017, we continue to actively participate in all EU discussions concerning these missions and have supported their mandate extensions to January 2021 and September 2020 respectively.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-10/HL15192Counterterrorism; Africa; Mali; Sahel; partnership
9 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that UK personnel at Royal Air Force Menwith Hill are not directly or indirectly involved in drone activation including of Ghost Hunter, Ghost Wolf and other surveillance tools operated by United States service personnel.Lord Judd (Lab)https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-04-01.HL14962.h&s=drone#gHL14962.q0UK-US partnering; military drone operations
4 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 28 March (HL14604), whether third parties have provided information specifically about weapons made or sold by British companies and then used in Yemen; and if so, whether they will publish (1) that information, and (2) their assessment of it.The Lord Bishop of St AlbansWe are aware that some UK licensed weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia in the conflict in Yemen. We examine every export licence application rigorously on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, including an assessment of whether there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law (IHL). We regularly raise the importance of compliance with IHL with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition and draw on a range of sources in making assessments, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations and continue to monitor the situation closely, seeking further information where appropriate. We welcome any further information NGOs and international organisations can provide. The Department for International Trade publish export licensing statistics quarterly, which can be found on the gov.uk websitehttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-04/HL15082Arms Export; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; British weapons used in Yemen
3 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Yemen—Britain's Hidden War that UK contractors have supplied arms that were used in the war in Yemen; what reasons were stated in export licence applications submitted by Saudi Arabia, BAE Systems plc, or any intermediary, for the supply and use of weaponry; and what criteria they use to assess and approve each applicationVicount WaverleyAll arms supplied by UK companies to Saudi Arabia require an export licence. We assess each export licence application very carefully against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the Consolidated Criteria). The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. These are not decisions we take lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. The key test for assessing military exports to Saudi Arabia is Criterion 2(c) of the Consolidated Criteria – whether there is a clear risk that the exports might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). When considering export licence applications, we take into account a wide range of sources and analyses, including reports from non-governmental organisations and the United Nations, as well as those of a sensitive nature to which these parties do not have access. This provides a comprehensive basis on which Government can take informed decisions about export licence applications.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-03/HL15059Arms Export; Saudi Arabia
3 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme Yemen—Britain's Hidden War that UK contractors have supplied arms that were used in the war in Yemen; what reasons were stated in export licence applications submitted by Saudi Arabia, BAE Systems plc, or any intermediary, for the supply and use of weaponry; and what criteria they use to assess and approve each application.Lord Judd (Lab)All arms supplied by UK companies to Saudi Arabia require an export licence. We assess each export licence application very carefully against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the Consolidated Criteria). The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. These are not decisions we take lightly, and we will not license the export of items where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. The key test for assessing military exports to Saudi Arabia is Criterion 2(c) of the Consolidated Criteria – whether there is a clear risk that the exports might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). When considering export licence applications, we take into account a wide range of sources and analyses, including reports from non-governmental organisations and the United Nations, as well as those of a sensitive nature to which these parties do not have access. This provides a comprehensive basis on which Government can take informed decisions about export licence applications.https://bit.ly/2VSAGOeArms Export; Saudi Arabia
2 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK's involvement in drone activities in the Yemen following the ruling of the Higher Administrative Court in Münster in the case of bin Ali Jaber vs GermanyLord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, ConservativeAny use of force by the UK complies fully with UK domestic and applicable international law. We are aware of the ruling by the German Higher Administrative Court on 19 March 2019 that Germany has a responsibility for ensuring that United States (US) operations conducted from German territory accord with international law. The Court also held that a lower Court had correctly deemed the case inadmissible, on the grounds that it could not be proved that the plaintiff's father was killed by a US drone strike on the day in question in 2012. The Court also stated that it could not be proved that the German government had knowledge of the use of Ramstein for drone strikes in 2012https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-02/HL15003UK assistance; Yemen; Germany
2 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for the remaining nine Reaper drones to be decommissioned ahead of the purchase of sixteen Protector drones from the United States.Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab)Doeshttps://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-03-28.238287.h&s=drone#g238287.q0Military drone; Protector; Reaper
1 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that UK personnel at Royal Air Force Menwith Hill are not directly or indirectly involved in drone activation including of Ghost Hunter, Ghost Wolf and other surveillance tools operated by United States service personnel.Lord Judd (Lab)In accordance with long standing policy we do not comment on the details of the activities carried out at RAF Menwith Hill in providing intelligence supporthttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-01/HL14962Menwith Hill; Assistance
1 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 28 March (HL14604), whether third parties have provided information about weapons made or sold by British companies that were subsequently used in Yemen; if so, which reports they have received; and what assessment they have made of any such reports.The Lord Bishop of St AlbansWe are aware that some UK licensed weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia in the conflict in Yemen. We examine every export licence application rigorously on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria including an assessment of whether there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law (IHL). We regularly raise the importance of compliance with IHL with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition and draw on a range of sources in making assessments, including NGOs and international organisations and continue to monitor the situation closely, seeking further information where appropriate. We welcome any further information NGOs and international organisations can providehttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-04-01/HL14976Saudi Arabia; Arms Export
1 April 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons the UK did not sign the October 2018 United Nations General Assembly Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas.Ben LakeThe use of lethal force in populated areas, as elsewhere, is governed by relevant international law - in particular, International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Our targeting policy and practice is entirely consistent with our obligations under UK and international law and we will continue to operate in accordance with its principles. The UK declined to sign the October 2018 United Nations First Committee Joint Statement on Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas because its call for a binding political declaration risks undermining the primacy of IHL and imposing impracticable standards and expectations on military commandershttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-04-01/239286Explosive Weapons in populated areas
1 April 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that UK personnel at Royal Air Force Menwith Hill are not directly or indirectly involved in drone activation including of Ghost Hunter, Ghost Wolf and other surveillance tools operated by United States service personnel.Lord Judd (Lab)In accordance with long standing policy we do not comment on the details of the activities carried out at RAF Menwith Hill in providing intelligence support.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2019-04-01/HL14962/Menwith Hill; Assistance
27 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK forces have been involved in any direct military action in Yemen in the last six months.The Marquess of LothianThe UK provides information, advice and assistance to Saudi Arabia to respond to the threat of strategic weapons fired by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia. We are not and have never been a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Our assistance is clearly limited to addressing this specific threat. UK military personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and controlhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-03-27/HL14863Assistance; Saudi Arabia
28 March 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for the remaining nine Reaper drones to be decommissioned ahead of the purchase of sixteen Protector drones from the United StatesKevan Jones, Labour, North DurhamThe out of service date for the Reaper fleet will align with Protector's entry into service by the middle of the next decade to ensure a seamless transition between the two fleetshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-03-28/238287Reaper; Protector
27 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK forces have been involved in any direct military action in Yemen in the last six months.The Marquess of Lothian The UK provides information, advice and assistance to Saudi Arabia to respond to the threat of strategic weapons fired by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia. We are not and have never been a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Our assistance is clearly limited to addressing this specific threat. UK military personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and control.https://bit.ly/2YIc0txAssistance; Saudi Arabia
20 March 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014, published on 13 September 2017, what steps his Department has taken to reduce the legal exposure of (a) the armed forces and (b) workers supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force under contract to the UK government from alleged violations of international humanitarian lawLloyd Russel-Moyle, Labour, Brighton, KemptownUK Armed Forces are not exposed to legal liability because the UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition and all UK military assistance to Saudi Arabia is in accordance with international and national law. All UK personnel in Saudi Arabia remain under UK command and control. Regarding workers supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force under contract to the UK Government, our arms export regime is one of the most rigorous in the world. The key test for our continued arms exports to Saudi Arabia in relation to international humanitarian law (IHL) is whether there is a clear risk that those items subject to the licence might be used in a serious violation of IHL. The situation is kept under careful and continual review.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-03-20/234802Assistance; Saudi Arabia
19 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13675), whether attacks from drones on Palestinian lands are exempt under the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria; and if so, why.Baroness Tonge (Lib Dem)We do not exempt either the end user or the proposed end use from any assessment against the Consolidated Criteria.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-03-05.HL14277.h&s=drone#gHL14277.q0Drone strikes; EU & arms export legality
15 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that all UK airports and RAF bases are supplied with military grade drone detection equipment, and that training is provided to relevant police, military personnel and airport staff.Lord Fink (Con)Her Majesty’s Government takes the threat posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to airports and other critical infrastructure seriously. Steps have been, and are being taken, to ensure that our airports have the appropriate measures in place. Given the sensitivities around military grade equipment, it would be inappropriate to comment further about these measures.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-03-04.HL14185.h&s=drone#gHL14185.q0Civilian drones; Airport protection
5 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13675), whether attacks from drones on Palestinian lands are exempt under the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria; and if so, why.Baroness Tonge (Lib Dem)We do not exempt either the end user or the proposed end use from any assessment against the Consolidated Criteriahttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-03-05/HL14277Israel; arms export
5 March 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the ability of the new off-shore patrol vessels ships to have a UAV capability; and if he will make a statement.Vernon Coaker (Lab)The Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) are versatile ships that will be able to deliver across a broad range of defence tasks, in our home waters and overseas, exploiting flexible manning solutions and innovative technologies. This could also include an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capability that is already being exploited within the Batch 1 OPV.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-02-28.227042.h&s=Unmanned+aerial+vehicle#g227042.r0Navy Patrol vessels UAV capability
4 March 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that all UK airports and RAF bases are supplied with military grade drone detection equipment, and that training is provided to relevant police, military personnel and airport staffLord Fink (Con)Her Majesty’s Government takes the threat posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to airports and other critical infrastructure seriously. Steps have been, and are being taken, to ensure that our airports have the appropriate measures in place. Given the sensitivities around military grade equipment, it would be inappropriate to comment further about these measureshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-03-04/HL14185counterdrone technology
4 March 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) expenditure was in the financial year 2017-18 and (b) budget is for 2018-19 for the (i) Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project and (ii) Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces ProjectCatherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) in financial year 2017-18 amounted to £74.75 million. The budget for financial year 2018-19 is £63.64 million. The costs of MODSAP are met from a management fee received from the Saudi Arabian Government. The costs of the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project (SANGCOM) are similarly recovered from the Saudi Arabian Government, but SANGCOM operates under a separate Memorandum of Understanding from MODSAP, under which the details of such recoveries are confidential to the two Governments.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-03-04/228072/Saudi Arabia; assistance
4 March 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) civilian staff and (b) military personnel based in (i) the UK and (ii) Saudi Arabia were employed on the (A) Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project and (B) Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Project on 1 April 2018Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe number of civilian and military personnel based in the UK and Saudi Arabia who were employed by the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project (SANGCOM) and the Ministry of Defence Saudi Armed Forces Projects (MODSAP) on 1 April 2018 is shown below. The Saudi Arabian Government reimburses the UK Ministry of Defence for these staff costs and there is, therefore, no cost to the UK taxpayer.

Manpower number as at 1 April 2018


UK-based Civilian Staff: 2 (SANGCOM) and 66 (MODSAP)

UK-based Military Staff: 0 (SANGCOM) and 33 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Civilian Staff: 52 (SANGCOM) and 38 (MODSAP)

Saudi-based Military Staff: 22 (SANGCOM) and 69 (MODSAP)

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-03-04/228071/Saudi Arabia; assistance
28 February 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 16 March 2016 (HL6659, HL6660, and HL6661), what progress they have made in (1) legislation in regard to, and (2) protection against, drones in the last three years.Lord West (Spithead) (Lab)Last year, the Government legislated to make flying drones above 400ft or within 1km of an airport boundary illegal. Last month, the aerodrome restriction zone was expanded to include an airport’s aerodrome traffic zone as well as 5km by 1km extensions from the end of runways to protect take-off and landing paths.
Last year, the Government also put into law a registration requirement for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more, and a requirement for remote pilots of drones to take a competency test. These requirements will come into force on 30 November 2019.
A new Drones Bill will be introduced in the next Session, which will give the Police greater powers to tackle offences involving the misuse of drones. In addition, the Home Office has announced new stop and search powers for drones around aerodromes, which will also be included in the upcoming Bill.
The Home Office continues to review the UK’s response to the malicious use of drones, and will consider how best to protect the full range of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, as well as testing and evaluating technology to counter drones.
The Government will also continue to work closely with industry and other partners on regulation, anticipating future innovations wherever possible in order to keep our airports secure and our airspace safe.
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-02-18.HL13815.h&s=drone#gHL13815.q0Civilian drones; protecting airports and critical infrastructure
27 Februar 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments have required ministerial approval from his Department in each financial year since 2015-16.Nia Griffith, Labour, LlanelliOverseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments themselves do not require approval by Ministers. OSJA assessments are written records of the consideration of risks surrounding a proposed activity and they document those who have been consulted. Ministerial approval may be required to authorise the proposed activity being described by the OSJA assessment, depending on the level of risk identified. If the hon. Member is seeking a record of those OSJA related activities, not the assessments themselves, such approvals are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate costhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-02-27/226635Assistance; OSJA; ministerial approval
25 February 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on human rights of Elbit systems UK's sale of drones subsequently used in attacks in Palestine.Baroness Tonge (Lib Dem)Export licence applications to all countries, including Israel, are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Our key test for licensing to Israel is Criterion 2 – whether there is a clear risk that exports might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely, and if extant licences are found to be no longer consistent with the Criteria, those licences will be revoked.
25 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason his Department has removed one MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle from service.Kevan Jones,( North Durham) (Lab)One of the RAF's Reaper fleet has reached the end of its viable flying life and is now in storage. This has had no impact on operational tasking.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-02-20.223964.h&s=Unmanned+aerial+vehicle#g223964.q0MoD; Military drone
22 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a drone registration scheme similar to the scheme operated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the US.John Spellar (Warley) (Lab)The Government has already put into law a registration requirement for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more. This was done in May last year. The registration requirement will come into force this year on 30 November 2019.
As explained in the Government’s July 2017 response to its public consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK, the primary aims of introducing a registration scheme are to improve the accountability of drones users, aid enforcement and enable direct educational targeting of these users in order to improve safety, security and privacy.
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-02-14.221570.h&s=drone#g221570.q0Civilian drone registration
20 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when his Department plans to update the Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in order to reduce the number of babies dying as a result of armed conflict.Chris, Law, SNP, Dundee Westhe Government is reviewing its strategy on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict now, and we will have more information in due course. The review coincides with the twentieth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1265 (1999) and the adoption of the Protection of Civilians as an item on the Security Council's agendahttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-02-15/222035Civilian Protection; PoC
18 February 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 16 March 2016 (HL6659, HL6660, and HL6661), what progress they have made in (1) legislation in regard to, and (2) protection against, drones in the last three years.Lord West of Spithead (Lab)Last year, the Government legislated to make flying drones above 400ft or within 1km of an airport boundary illegal. Last month, the aerodrome restriction zone was expanded to include an airport’s aerodrome traffic zone as well as 5km by 1km extensions from the end of runways to protect take-off and landing paths. Last year, the Government also put into law a registration requirement for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more, and a requirement for remote pilots of drones to take a competency test. These requirements will come into force on 30 November 2019. A new Drones Bill will be introduced in the next Session, which will give the Police greater powers to tackle offences involving the misuse of drones. In addition, the Home Office has announced new stop and search powers for drones around aerodromes, which will also be included in the upcoming Bill. The Home Office continues to review the UK’s response to the malicious use of drones, and will consider how best to protect the full range of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, as well as testing and evaluating technology to counter drones. The Government will also continue to work closely with industry and other partners on regulation, anticipating future innovations wherever possible in order to keep our airports secure and our airspace safe.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-02-18/HL13815drone legislation
14 February 2019On Monday, the Secretary of State for Defence made a number of announcements to the press. They included first, a proposal to have large squadrons of highly skilled killer drones, and secondly—and more oddly—the proposal to convert a number of old car ferries into frontline warships, including, according to The Times, the Empress of Margate. Is it not the case that the Secretary of State should come to the House to make a statement regarding these proposals, and that we should also have a wider debate on them?Jamie Stone, Libdem, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter RossThe hon. Gentleman will be aware that we have Defence questions on Monday 18 February, which will be a good opportunity for him to ask the Secretary of State directlyhttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-02-14/debates/F3F9CC25-D033-4FCB-8D3B-2D6BA201D411/BusinessOfTheHouse#contribution-2FC6937B-5971-4F3F-B102-35ECA2B658DDKiller drone squadron
14 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a drone registration scheme similar to the scheme operated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the USJohn Spellar (Warley) (Lab)The Government has already put into law a registration requirement for all operators of drones weighing 250 grams or more. This was done in May last year. The registration requirement will come into force this year on 30 November 2019. As explained in the Government’s July 2017 response to its public consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK, the primary aims of introducing a registration scheme are to improve the accountability of drone users, aid enforcement and enable direct educational targeting of these users in order to improve safety, security and privacy.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-02-14/221570drone registration
12 February 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on human rights of Elbit Systems UK's sale of drones subsequently used in attacks in PalestineBaroness Tonge (Lib Dem)Export licence applications to all countries, including Israel, are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Our key test for licensing to Israel is Criterion 2 – whether there is a clear risk that exports might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely, and if extant licences are found to be no longer consistent with the Criteria, those licences will be revokedhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-02-12/HL13675arms export; Israel; human rights
4 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to recoup the cost of regulating drones from their users or manufacturers.Greg Knight (East Yorkshire) (Con)There are already charges that exist for certain drone users, when applying to the CAA for permission to operate commercially or for an exemption from an Air Navigation Order article. When registration of drone operators is implemented later this year, drone operators will be required to pay the CAA a registration charge in order to fund the running and maintenance of the service. The CAA will consult on the structure of the proposed charging later this year.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-30.214515.h&s=drone#g214515.q0Civilian drone regulation
4 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Government of Pakistan since the last election in that country; and what recent (a) military and (b) economic assistance has been offered to improve co-operation between the UK and PakistanJim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordWe have had regular discussions with the Government of Pakistan since the election in July 2018. This includes contact by the Foreign Secretary and other Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers. We maintain regular contact with the Government of Pakistan at all levels in Pakistan, the UK and international fora on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues. These include security cooperation; work on anti-corruption; and bilateral trade. We maintain defence training exchanges and senior bilateral defence meetings with Pakistan’s Armed Forces. We help strengthen Pakistan institutions responsible for upholding the rule of law and advancing the rights of women and minorities. The British government also works with the Government of Pakistan on improving education, healthcare, infrastructure, gender equality, economic growth and jobs, and peace, justice and institutions, including through Department for International Development-supported projects and programmes.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-02-04/216255Assistance; Pakistan
4 February 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the technical feasibility of requiring drones to be fitted with geofencing software which prevents their operation around certain sites including airports, high-population density areas and national security sites.Greg Knight (East Yorkshire) (Con)Many drone manufacturers already voluntarily implement geo-fencing around sensitive infrastructure such as airports and prisons in the UK. The UK has been participating in negotiations in the EU to mandate geo-fencing as a product standard for all drones. The Department for Transport will continue to work with manufacturers to implement geo-fencing in their products.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-30.214516.h&s=drone#g214516.q0civilian drones regulation; protecting airports and critical infrastrcuture
30 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to recoup the cost of regulating drones from their users or manufacturersSir Greg Knight, Conservative, East YorkshireThere are already charges that exist for certain drone users, when applying to the CAA for permission to operate commercially or for an exemption from an Air Navigation Order article. When registration of drone operators is implemented later this year, drone operators will be required to pay the CAA a registration charge in order to fund the running and maintenance of the service. The CAA will consult on the structure of the proposed charging later this yearhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-30/214515regulation
30 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the technical feasibility of requiring drones to be fitted with geofencing software which prevents their operation around certain sites including airports, high-population density areas and national security sitesSir Greg Knight, Conservative, East YorkshireMany drone manufacturers already voluntarily implement geo-fencing around sensitive infrastructure such as airports and prisons in the UK. The UK has been participating in negotiations in the EU to mandate geo-fencing as a product standard for all drones. The Department for Transport will continue to work with manufacturers to implement geo-fencing in their productshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-30/214516drone regulation; geofencing
29 January 2019My Lords, the Minister used the word “proportionality” today, and in a previous answer. Could she explain the principle of proportionality between a drone closing Gatwick for two days and people being allowed to do what they like with them elsewhere? It is a bit of a challenge, is it not?Lord Balfe (Con)The noble Lord is quite right; it is a challenge. We have brought in laws governing the use of drones within airport exclusion zones and across the country. It is against the law to fly your drone above 400 feet, but the noble Lord is right to point out that this is a complex issuehttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2019-01-29/debates/15231457-BFBD-4860-A905-A778F86D93BE/DronesConsultation#contribution-36EF7B44-ADA8-435A-AAE2-870A145AFA82Gatwick
29 January 2019To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultations they are conducting on the operation of drones in United Kingdom airspace; and whether they will include the British Airline Pilots Association and the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers as members of draft Airspace Modernisation Strategy committeesLord Balfe (Con)My Lords, the Government have a wide range of engagement with industry on the operation of drones in UK airspace, and the government response to the latest formal consultation was published on 7 January. The Department for Transport will continue to work with the British Airline Pilots Association and the Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers, airports, drone manufacturers and other key stakeholders on all issues relating to the operation of drones in UK airspace, including airspace modernisation.https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2019-01-29/debates/15231457-BFBD-4860-A905-A778F86D93BE/DronesConsultation#contribution-1E2E9D42-BA0B-4BA9-BCDD-B6818991A832consultation; legislation
29 January 2019To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultations they are conducting on the operation of drones in United Kingdom airspace; and whether they will include the British Airline Pilots Association and the Guild of Air Traffic Controllers as members of draft Airspace Modernisation Strategy committees.Lord Balfe (Con)My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper and draw attention to my interests as listed in the register.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2019-01-29a.992.0&s=dronecivilian drone regulation
29 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of the disruption caused by the Gatwick drone incident in December 2018.Jim Cunningham (Civentry South) (Lab)The Department for Transport has not made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of the disruption caused by the Gatwick drone incident in December 2018.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-22.211112.h&s=drone#g211112.q0civilian drone misuse
29 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they are giving to the use of drones for air-sea rescue purposes in the English Channel.Lord HyltonHer Majesty’s Coastguard is actively considering drone technology that could be used to enhance search and rescue efficiency across the UK, save more lives and reduce risk to personnel. This includes working with search and rescue partners and industry, to explore and trial the feasibility of using drones in real-life scenarios, which will improve situational awareness and decision making for search and rescue authorities.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-22.HL13020.h&s=drone#gHL13020.q0drones for air-sea rescue purposes
29 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of the disruption caused by the Gatwick drone incident in December 2018.Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) (Lab)The Department for Transport has not made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of the disruption caused by the Gatwick drone incident in December 2018https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-22/211112Gatwick (cost)
29 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prevent drones from interfering with equestrian events, including national hunt racing and flat racing.Lord PalmerThere are already existing laws which provide safety, security and data protection assurance which are relevant here. The Air Navigation Order 2016 restricts small unmanned aircraft (a drone of between 0-20kg) with a camera from being flown over or within 150m of congested areas, over or within 150m of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 people or within 50m of any vessels, vehicle or structure or people not under the control of the remote pilot. Furthermore, small drone users that collect personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act 2018, unless a relevant exemption applies. All drone users should also be aware that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act can apply and restricts people from undertaking any commercial activity, such as filming or photographing, on open-access land without the permission of the landowner. The CAA also require that commercial drone operators obtain a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-23.HL13073.h&s=drone#gHL13073.q0civilian drones regulation
22 January 2019To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made towards introducing new regulations on the use of drones.Baroness RandersonMy Lords, the Department for Transport introduced legislation last year which made flying a drone above 400 feet or within 1 kilometre of an airport boundary an offence. We also introduced regulations for compulsory registration and testing for drone users, which come into effect in November. Earlier this month, we announced measures to extend the airport flying ban to include aerodrome traffic zones and additional 5 kilometre extensions from the ends of runways. We also announced new police powers to tackle drone misuse, including the ability to issue on-the-spot fines.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2019-01-22a.622.3&s=dronecivilian drone regulation
22 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they are giving to the use of drones for air-sea rescue purposes in the English Channel.Lord Hylton, CrossbenchHer Majesty’s Coastguard is actively considering drone technology that could be used to enhance search and rescue efficiency across the UK, save more lives and reduce risk to personnel. This includes working with search and rescue partners and industry, to explore and trial the feasibility of using drones in real-life scenarios, which will improve situational awareness and decision making for search and rescue authorities.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-01-22/HL13020rescue services
22 January 2019My Lords, the lessons are always learned after incidents of this nature. In previous answers, the Minister told us that the Department for Transport was not happy that any of the technological solutions were necessarily perfect. Is the perfect not the enemy of the good? Today, we were told by easyJet that the disruption at Gatwick cost it £15 million. Other airlines and the airport operators will have had similar costs, and of course, the public and business faced costs too. What estimate has the department made of the costs associated with these slightly less-than-perfect technological solutions? What would it cost to equip a single airport with that technology, compared with the losses incurred?Lord Harris of Haringey (Lab)My Lords, advancing counter-drone technology is a complex challenge, and I think it fair to say that there is currently no silver bullet in that regard. A number of products are available; when taken together, they can mitigate against a drone. We are working closely with airports to ensure that they have the appropriate measures in place. We also continue to test and evaluate the safe use of a range of counter-drone technologies, and we are looking at future options. This crucial technology will detect drones flying around sensitive areas, airports and other parts of critical national infrastructure. The noble Lord rightly highlighted the economic cost involved; he can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to protect against future drone incursionshttp://bit.ly/2Du692srogue drones
22 January 2019Can the Minister explain why compulsory registration of drones has to wait until November? Why can it not happen now? The Gatwick incident demonstrated that no one really knows who is in charge. Is it the Department for Transport, the Home Office or the MoD; is it the police, the Army, the CAA or the airport itself? That is one reason why it took so long to deal with. Whose responsibility will it be the next time it happens?Baroness RandersonOn the timing of the registration system, since we put the requirement into law last May, the CAA has been working to develop and build an online registration and testing system. It is of course important that we get the IT system right: we expect thousands of people to use it and we want it to be easy to use and future proof, as we expect rapid growth in the sector. It is fair to say that many lessons were learned from the Gatwick incident. The police at the airport initially led the response, but I can certainly assure the noble Baroness that across the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Department for Transport, we will continue to ensure that we react rapidly to future incidents http://bit.ly/2ECZm5ZRegistration
18 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of governments that are, or are almost, able to mobilise new weapons systems capable of operating without meaningful human control; how soon they expect the UK will be able to deploy such systems; and what steps they are taking to secure international controls of such systems.Lord Judd (Lab)UK policy is that the operation of weapon systems will always be under human control as an absolute guarantee of oversight and authority for weapons release - no UK weapons systems currently in development will be capable of attacking targets without human control and input. Officials from Her Majesty's Government are closely involved in international discussions on autonomy at the United Nations to ensure that developments occur responsibly and in line with international law.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-08.HL12667.h&s=autonomous+weaponAutonomous weapons
14 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 January 2019 to Question 205973 on Airports: Unmanned Air Vehicles, what consultations the Government undertook prior to implementing the 400 ft height and 1 km radius exclusion zone on the use of drones adjacent to airportsAlan Brown, SNP, Kilmarnock and LoudounFrom December 2016 – March 2017 the Department sought views on drones in our consultation “Unlocking the UK's High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of drones in the UK”. Almost 700 responses were received, including from airports, airlines, GA pilots and drone users. The Department’s response to that consultation (July 2017 https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/benefits-of-drones-to-the-uk-economy) sets out its intention to ban the use of drones within a certain distance of airports and to ban flights above 400ft. Amendments to the Air Navigation Order (ANO 2016) were then made in May 2018 introducing the 400ft limit and the interim 1km airport restriction. Following the Department’s most recent public consultation, the Government will now amend the ANO to extend the 1km restriction to protect the aerodrome traffic zones of protected airports, and to add 5km long runway protection zones at the end of each runway. This was set out on 7 January 2019 in the Government Response to “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK”.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-14/208366regulation; consultation
14 January 2019Civilian authorities and agencies are now often on the frontline in dealing with cyber-attacks, chemical weapons attacks and drone incursions. Will the Secretary of State confirm that the Ministry of Defence is stepping up training and resilience capability of our civilian agencies to ensure that the skills transfers are there, so that they too are able to defend our country?Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend( (Lab)Yes; of course we always have that backstop of being able to step in and support civilian authorities as well. Increasingly, as we touched on earlier, there is a growing grey zone where people who wish to do us harm are acting, and we need to consider how we support civilian authorities more in future to help them best deal with those threatshttp://bit.ly/2F4lTc0
14 January 2019The Ministry of Defence is evidently well prepared to respond very quickly to drone threats, once it is asked for assistance, ​but can the Minister explain the policy whereby installations are not already in place and a crisis has to arise before that assistance is deployed to the airports?Dr Julian Lewis, New Forest EastAs I was saying, the protection of airports is in fact an issue for those airports. I know that the Department for Transport is working with airfields across the country to ensure that they have the protections they need. The response by the MOD was incredibly swift, and I pay tribute to it for thathttp://bit.ly/2TGFppeGatwick; MOD
14 January 2019What steps his Department is taking to support civilian authorities to tackle illegal drone use at and around UK airportsHenry Smith (Crawley) (Con)The Ministry of Defence rapidly deployed counter-unmanned air systems capability in support of Sussex police and the Metropolitan police, both at Gatwick and at Heathrow. We are working with colleagues in the Department for Transport and across the Government, and will continue to do sohttp://bit.ly/2O5Gy3EGatwick; illegal drone use; police
14 January 2019I have today received a parliamentary answer revealing that no Transport Minister visited Gatwick during the drone crisis. Can the hon. Gentleman tell us what contingency plans his own Department had for dealing with drones at airports? Will he also tell us on what date the Transport Department—or, indeed, the Cabinet Office—ask the MOD for help and support during the crisis? How did his Department respond, and when?John Spellar (Warley) (Lab)I was pleased to go to Heathrow myself just last week—[Hon. Members: “Gatwick.”] I know, but I personally went to Heathrow last week. We responded to the request that we received from Sussex police on 20 December and we have been working with colleagues across the Government, and with the Department for Transport, to ensure that we have all the availability that is needed, and that the airports have the proper advice that they require so that they can get the systems they need to ensure that they can protect their own runways
10 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which parties were consulted on the adequacy of the 400 ft height and 1 km radius exclusion zone on the use of drones adjacent to airports.Alan Brown (SNP spokesman)On 7th January 2019, the Government published its response to the recent consultation on the safe use and effective regulation of drones; “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK”. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed on 17 September and received around 5,000 responses.

One of the key topics covered in the consultation was whether the current airport restriction was sufficient, and if not, what kind of further extension should be considered. As a result, the exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a 5km-radius (3.1 miles), with additional extensions at the end of each runway.

The consultation response document can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-future-of-drones-in-the-uk-consultation . Chapter 5 includes a summary of responses to the questions on the airport restriction zone, and summarises the views received from aerodromes and airlines, model aircraft fliers and leisure users of drones, amongst others.

As explained in the consultation response, The Department for Transport will still be instructing the CAA to review the effectiveness of aerodrome restriction measures during the next year.
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-01-07.205973.h&s=drone#g205973.q0Civilian drones, airport disruption
10 January 2019I am sure that the Secretary of State can chew gum and walk at the same time, so while he is dealing with future viability with our leaving the EU, will he also deal with the current crisis over drones affecting airports? May I give him the opportunity to answer the questions that he did not answer earlier in the week? Were contingency plans agreed with the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office to protect our airports from drone incidents and others, and if not, why not? Were such plans not activated in time because of dithering? Why did they not work? Was that the fault of the Secretary of State’s Department, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office or, indeed, the Cabinet Office?John Spellar (Warley) (Lab)Chris Grayling: I would simply remind the right hon. Gentleman of two factors. First, the disruptive attack at Gatwick was unprecedented anywhere in the world, and as a result we have been approached by airports around the world to learn more about how we tackled that. Secondly, as I have said, I am not able to discuss in the House the nature of the technology used for security reasons, but when a similar issue arose at Heathrow earlier this week, the response was very rapid indeed.http://bit.ly/2F9nHAnCivilian drones; Gatwick response
9 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce urgent legislation to immediately implement a five-kilometre drone exclusion zone as proposed by the British Airline Pilots Association for all commercial and military airports; if so, when; and if not, why not.Lord NasebyAs set out in my recent Statement [7 January 2019 vol 794] on the Government’s response to our recent consultation Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK, we will be taking forward several measures to ensure that passengers have confidence that their journeys will not be disrupted by drones, that aircraft can safely use our key transport hubs and that criminals misusing drones can be brought to justice. Although any restriction zone would not have prevented a deliberate incident such as that seen recently at Gatwick, we want to ensure that proportionate measures are in place at airports to protect aircraft and avoid potential conflict with legitimate drone activity. We will therefore introduce additional protections around airports, with a particular focus on protected exclusion zones 5km from runway ends at a width of 1km, alongside increasing the current restrictions to the extent of existing Aerodrome Traffic Zones (ATZ) around airports. Drone pilots wishing to fly within these zones must only do so with permission from the aerodrome air traffic control. The Department for Transport will amend the Air Navigation Order 2016 to implement these changeshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2019-01-09/HL12715Civilian drones; Domestic drone legislation
8 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral contribution of the hon. Member for South West Norfolk, 6 December 2016 on Prison Safety, Official Report, column 95, what assessment he has made of (a) the effect of the use of patrol dogs barking to deter drones, (b) how many prisons use this method and (c) at what cost to the public purse.Layla Moran, Oxford West and AbingdonHer Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) uses dogs in a variety of roles, such as searching for drugs and other illicit items and for patrolling. Patrol dogs are deployed in various ways including at the perimeter of prisons, to deter and disrupt individuals from illegal activity such as throwing contraband over the perimeter or piloting drones over the prison. In the course of these duties, patrol dogs may also hear drones being used and alert their handler. However, dogs are not deployed specifically for this purpose and therefore there are no associated costs. We are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for organised criminals to bring illicit items such as drugs and mobile phones into prisons. Prisons that experience high numbers of drone incursions are receiving a wide range of support, including prison-specific vulnerability assessments and joint policing operations to arrest drone operators. We are also using physical counter-measures, including netting and window grilleshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-08/206453Civilan drones; UK; Prisons
8 January 2019To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of governments that are, or are almost, able to mobilise new weapons systems capable of operating without meaningful human control; how soon they expect the UK will be able to deploy such systems; and what steps they are taking to secure international controls of such systems.Lord Judd (Lab)UK policy is that the operation of weapon systems will always be under human control as an absolute guarantee of oversight and authority for weapons release - no UK weapons systems currently in development will be capable of attacking targets without human control and input. Officials from Her Majesty's Government are closely involved in international discussions on autonomy at the United Nations to ensure that developments occur responsibly and in line with international law.https://bit.ly/2mAFTgOAutonomous weapons
7 Januar 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which parties were consulted on the adequacy of the 400 ft height and 1 km radius exclusion zone on the use of drones adjacent to airports.On 7th January 2019, the Government published its response to the recent consultation on the safe use and effective regulation of drones; “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK”. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed on 17 September and received around 5,000 responses. One of the key topics covered in the consultation was whether the current airport restriction was sufficient, and if not, what kind of further extension should be considered. As a result, the exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a 5km-radius (3.1 miles), with additional extensions at the end of each runway.

The consultation response document can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-future-of-drones-in-the-uk-consultation . Chapter 5 includes a summary of responses to the questions on the airport restriction zone, and summarises the views received from aerodromes and airlines, model aircraft fliers and leisure users of drones, amongst others. As explained in the consultation response, The Department for Transport will still be instructing the CAA to review the effectiveness of aerodrome restriction measures during the next year.
https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-07/205973Domestic legislation
7 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse has been of the development of the ecoSUB-µ5-SVP vehicles to be deployed from HMS EnterpriseMartin ocherty-Hughes, West DunbartonshireThe ecoSUB-µ5-SVP vehicles were not developed as part of a defence contract. The vehicles were developed by industry, Planet Ocean, in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-07/200135/
7 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which parties were consulted on the adequacy of the 400 ft height and 1 km radius exclusion zone on the use of drones adjacent to airports.Alan Brown, Kilmarnock and LoudounOn 7th January 2019, the Government published its response to the recent consultation on the safe use and effective regulation of drones; “Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK”. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed on 17 September and received around 5,000 responses. One of the key topics covered in the consultation was whether the current airport restriction was sufficient, and if not, what kind of further extension should be considered. As a result, the exclusion zone around airports will be extended to approximately a 5km-radius (3.1 miles), with additional extensions at the end of each runway.

The consultation response document can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-future-of-drones-in-the-uk-consultation . Chapter 5 includes a summary of responses to the questions on the airport restriction zone, and summarises the views received from aerodromes and airlines, model aircraft fliers and leisure users of drones, amongst others. As explained in the consultation response, The Department for Transport will still be instructing the CAA to review the effectiveness of aerodrome restriction measures during the next year
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-01-07/205973/Civilian drones UK; Gatwick; Heathrow; legislation
4 January 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of the contraband in prisons that enters prisons via droneRichard Burgon, Leeds EastIt is inherently difficult to estimate the proportion of contraband that enters prisons through different routes, including drones, as we can only base this on what is found; often this is in cells or wings where the method of conveyance is unclear. We are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for organised criminals to bring illicit items such as drugs and mobile phones into prisons. Prisons that experience high numbers of drone incursions are receiving a wide range of support, including prison-specific vulnerability assessments and joint policing operations to arrest drone operators. We are also putting physical counter-measures, including netting and window grilleshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2019-01-04/205339Prison
20 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the closure of Gatwick Airport on 19 and 20 December 2018 after illegal drone use threatened flight safety for the future resilience at that airport.Henry Smith (Crawley)The recent use of a drone to disrupt Gatwick airport operations was a serious criminal offence. The Department is working closely with the Home Office, Police, CAA and all UK airports to ensure that appropriate lessons are learnt from this incident, and appropriate mitigations put in place to reinforce their protection. Department for Transport and Home Office Ministers will be meeting with key UK airports this week to discuss their counter-drone strategies in the wake of the Gatwick incident. Air and Unmanned Aerial Systems strikes are being conducted in Iraq and Syria. The UK is conducting military counterterrorism operations or capacity building in 17 countries. Military personnel have been deployed on the ground but none of those personnel are employed in combat roles. The Ministry of Defence has not constructed nor is it retaining any military bases for the sole purpose of counterterrorism operations; UK forces use shared military establishments at the invitation of host governments or allies at a number of locations globally. These measures include new powers for the police to ensure they are able to enforce the law for offences involving drones, and increased drone restriction zones around airportshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-12-20/204480Gatwick
20 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in how many countries the UK military is conducting counterterrorism operations; and in how many of those countries the UK is (a) conducting air and dronestrikes, (b) deploying combat troops, (c) constructing or retaining military bases and (d) building the capacity of partners to conduct counterterrorism and other actions.Dr Julian Lewis, New Forest EastAir and Unmanned Aerial Systems strikes are being conducted in Iraq and Syria. The UK is conducting military counterterrorism operations or capacity building in 17 countries. Military personnel have been deployed on the ground but none of those personnel are employed in combat roles. The Ministry of Defence has not constructed nor is it retaining any military bases for the sole purpose of counterterrorism operations; UK forces use shared military establishments at the invitation of host governments or allies at a number of locations globally.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-12-20/204354Armed forces, counter-terrorism
19 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the UK Government takes to ensure that UK aid is not used to support military, security and intelligence authorities in Pakistan allegedly involved in the enforced disappearance of people in that countryAnn Clwyd, Labour, Cynon ValleyHMG makes robust use of oversees security and justice assessment (OSJAs) process to manage any risks arising from security and justice assistance delivered overseas. The UK’s work in Pakistan is focused on peace and stability, making democracy work, jobs and growth and providing basic services. Across Government, through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF) UK aid is used to support the reform of justice institutions and the development of provincial rule of law strategies, improving Pakistan’s capacity to counter terrorism, deal with organised crime, supporting the work of civilian and military agencies to handle Improvised Explosive Devices, and strengthening Mutual Legal Assistance.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-12-19/203801military aid; Pakistan
18 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to prevent illicit drugs being brought into prisons.David Simpson, Upper Ban...........We are working with the police to catch and convict criminals who smuggle contraband into prisons, and exploring additional security measures and new technology to stop these incursions. To date, there have been at least 45 convictions related to drone activity, with those sentenced serving a total of more than 140 years in prison.......https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-18/203266/Prison
6 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the follow-on process to develop international best practice standards stemming from the US-led joint declaration on the export and subsequent use of armed or strike enabled UAVs, what the Government’s main goals are; and which international partners the Government is working withTom Brake, Carshalton and WallingtonThe US is leading the process to develop possible international best practice standards in this area. We are concerned by the possible misuse of armed and strike-enabled UAVs and welcome the initiative. The UK already has a robust set of export controls in place. We would like to ensure that any future best practice standards are consistent with, and add value to, existing multilateral export control and non-proliferation regimes, and encourage the maximum possible compliance.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-06/199760/Drones, international best standards
6 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the conclusion of the US-led joint declaration on the export and subsequent use of armed or strike-enabled UAVs, what steps the Government taking to develop those standards.Tom Brake, Carshalton and WallingtonThe UK signed a 'Joint Declaration on the Export & Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)' on 5 October 2016, along with 52 other States. The UK already has a robust set of export controls in place in relation to UAVs. Following the Joint Declaration, we are in discussion with a number of countries about developing a set of international best practice standards regarding the export of armed or strike-enabled UAVs. These discussions are continuing; it is not yet clear when they will conclude.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-06/199759/Export
5 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, by what date his Department expects to complete the transition from Reaper to Protector aircraft.Nia Griffith, LlanelliUnder current plans, Protector will be fully operational by the middle of the next decade. Ongoing planning assumes a seamless transition with Reaper.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-05/199375/Military drone; Protector
3 December 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) confiscated drones and (b) persons prosecuted for the illegal use of a drone in the vicinity of a prison in the last two yearsGregory CampbellWe are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for organised criminals to bring illicit items such as drugs and mobile phones into prisons. These drone operators can be prosecuted for offences related to conveyance of items into prison under the Prison Act 1952. Last year we launched Operation Trenton, a specialist team of police and Prison Service investigators, to work together to intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. In 2016, 92 drones were recovered. In 2017, 73 were recovered. In respect of persons prosecuted for the illegal use of a drone in the vicinity of a prison in the last two years, we do not hold this data centrally. However, we believe that at least 45 people have been convicted of illicit drone activity, with those sentenced serving a total of more than 140 years in prison. On 26 October 2018, following the largest investigation of its kind, an organised criminal gang of 15 were collectively sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for using drones to drop drugs into a number of prisons. The ringleader received a sentence of 10 years, the highest single sentence for drone-related activity to date.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-12-03/198196/prisons
21 November 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he is exploring options to develop an unmanned maritime patrol aircraft capability to complement current and planned fixed and rotary-wing platformsKevan Jones, North DurhamAs set out in Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, Joint Force 2025 will deliver a fleet of nine Boeing P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. We recognise the potential strategic importance of developing further unmanned surveillance capability; however, we have not started formally exploring options.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-11-21/194117/Maritime Patrol Aifcraft
13 November 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department plans to take against (a) droneoperators and (b) prisoners involved in receiving messages or contrabandJim Shannon, StrangefordWe are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for organised criminals to bring drugs and mobile phones into prisons. These drone operators can be prosecuted for offences related to conveyance of items into prison under the Prison Act 1952. Last year we launched Operation Trenton, a specialist team of police and Prison Service investigators, to work together to intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. On 26 October, following the largest investigation of its kind, an organised criminal gang of 15 were collectively sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for using drones to drop drugs into several prisons. One member of the gang received a sentence of 10 years’ custody, the highest single sentence for drone-related activity to date. Prisoners who break the law in prison should expect to be sanctioned according to the severity of the crime, with serious crimes being referred to the police for investigation. The maximum sentence that a court may impose will depend on the facts of the case and the offence the prisoner has been found guilty of committing. In respect of controlled drugs, for example, prisoners involved in their delivery may receive a sentence of up to 10 years’ custody and an unlimited fine.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-11-13/190891/prisons
5 November 2019To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions the illegal use of drones in the vicinity of the prison estate has resulted in convictions in each of the last three years.Gergory CampbellWe are taking decisive steps to tackle the use of drones as a supply route for criminals to bring contraband, including drugs and mobile phones, into prisons. Last year we launched Operation Trenton, a specialist team of Prison Service and Police investigators, to work together to intercept drones and track down the criminals behind them. It is not possible to identify from centrally held data which convictions secured under the Prison Act 1952 relate specifically to drones. However, we believe that at least 45 people have been convicted of illicit drone activity, with those sentenced serving a total of more than 140 years in prison. On 26 October, following the largest investigation of its kind, an organised criminal gang of 15 were collectively sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for using drones to drop drugs into a number of prisons. The ringleader, Lee Anslow, received a sentence of 10 years, the highest single sentence for drone-related activity to date.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-11-05/188007/Prisons
5 November 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the killing of Abdel Hamid and two others by a Israeli drone strike near the border between Gaza and Israel.Baroness TongeWe have not discussed this specific issue with the Israeli authorities. ​The UK has repeatedly made clear to Israel our longstanding concerns about the manner in which the Israeli Defence Forces police protests and the border areas, including the use of live ammunition.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-11-05/HL11299/Israel
6 November 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance his Department has provided to the Government of the United Arab Emirates on counter terrorism in Yemen in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018Tom Brake, Carshalton and WallingtonThe Ministry of Defence did not provide assistance to the government of the United Arab Emirates on counter-terrorism in Yemen in 2016, 2017 or 2018https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-11-06/188696Assistance; UAE
30 October 2018The Saudi-led war in Yemen is causing what could be the world’s worst famine in 100 years, with 14 million people at risk according to the UN. This war is dependent on the UK Government’s assistance and support, and it could not be waged without UK arms and military assistance. What crimes does the Saudi regime need to commit before the Government finally stand up for human rights and bring forward that resolution?Marsha De Cordova, Labour, BatterseaThe most important thing in Yemen is to bring the conflict to a conclusion. Over the weekend, I spoke to representatives of the UN, the United States, the coalition and the Government of Yemen. Intensive work is going on to make every effort to bring the conflict to a conclusion, and the United Kingdom will play a full part in thathttps://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-10-30/debates/4EFBC063-CEDD-4FFD-B48B-A22871B5B072/TopicalQuestions#contribution-E87BC139-FC20-4763-AB35-EF33F692C45Aassistance; UK; Saudi Arabia; IHL violation
29 October 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what military assistance the Government is providing to the Government of Nigeria to help it defeat Boko HaramJim Shannon, StrangefordThe UK and Nigeria share a deep and long-standing Defence partnership. Since 2014, the UK has sought to support and enable a Nigerian-led regional response to Boko Haram and related violent extremism, doing so in the context of the long-term need to help build capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces and support Defence Transformation. Some 70 Defence personnel are currently deployed to Nigeria on an enduring basis, and over 800 have deployed to Nigeria on training and advisory tasks since April 2015. This is supported by equipment gifting, places on professional development courses, and a focus on developing Nigerian Command, Staff, and Leadership institutionshttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-10-29/184962Assistance; Partnership; Nigeria
17 October 2018To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department made of the use of drones by the Police and Fire Services of the effectiveness of those services in relation to (a) difficult to reach areas, (b) incidents involving a danger to life and limb and (c) public disorder events.Dr Matthew Offord, HendonDecisions to use drones and in which circumstances are operational matters for the Police and Fire and Rescue services. The National Police Chief’s Council is undertaking a review of Police Air Support which is considering how drones should be used alongside manned aircraft.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-17/180702/Domestic use; Emergency services
9 October 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Written Statement of 9 October 2018, HCWS974 on Airborne Warning and Control System, if he will publish the market analysis undertaken by his Department in relation to that decision.Nia Griffith, LlanelliThe analysis work relating to possible options to invest in and improve the United Kingdom's Airborne Warning and Control System capability considered a wide range of options available on the market, including a number of business jet-based solutions and also some more novel options, including unmanned aerial vehicles. I am withholding market analysis information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-09/177235/Airborne Warning and Control System
11 September 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions of the report by Human Rights Watch Hiding Behind the Coalition: Failure to Credibly Investigate and Provide Redress for Unlawful Attacks in Yemen, published 24 August, that the Joint Incidents Assessment Team of the Saudi–UAE coalition lacks credibility and fails to provide credible, impartial and transparent investigations into alleged coalition laws-of-war violations; and whether, following that report, they intend to conduct their own investigation into the impact of air strikes and potential violations of international humanitarian law in YemenLord JuddThe UK regularly encourages Saudi Arabia to conduct thorough and conclusive investigations into reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law. The Coalition Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) is unparalleled in the region. We welcome the release by the JIAT of the outcome of over 85 investigations into incidents of alleged breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen. We continue to believe that Saudi Arabia has the best insight into their own military procedures, in line with the standards we set for ourselves and our allieshttps://bit.ly/2NHcNcxYemen war; Saudi Arabia; UAE; IHL violations
11 September 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Written Statement of 9 October 2018, HCWS974 on Airborne Warning and Control System, if he will publish the market analysis undertaken by his Department in relation to that decision.Lord JuddThis UN report further underlines the deeply concerning human rights situation in Yemen and the importance of reaching a political solution to this conflict. We believe it is important to give the Group of Eminent Experts more time to fully examine the conflict and to ensure that its conclusions accurately reflect the conduct of all parties in future reporting. The UK joined the consensus on the Resolution that established the Group of Eminent Experts last year and we hope the UN Human Rights Council will renew its existing mandate this year. We regularly raise the importance of compliance with international humanitarian law with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition. The Saudi-led Coalition Joint Incidents Assessment Team has so far announced the findings of over 85 investigations.https://bit.ly/2O8iKP5Partner assistance; Yemen
10 September 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals on drones.Melanie Onn, Great GrimsbyIn May this year, the Government amended the Air Navigation Order to restrict drones from flying above 400ft and within 1km of an airport boundary. These measures came into effect in July this year. The amendments also introduced the registration of all drone operators with drones of 250g and over, as well as competency tests for remote pilots of drones of 250g and over. These will come into effect in November 2019. The Government is currently consulting on measures to be included in a draft Drones Bill such as greater police powers against the misuse of drones and proposals for regulating and mandating the use of safety ‘apps’ and counter-drone technology. A draft Drones Bill is due to be published shortly.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-09-10/172638/Drones Bill UK
3 September 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to run a public consultation on updating the UK’s protection of civilians strategy.Chris Law (Dundee West)​There are no plans to run a public consultation.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-09-03/169419/Policy: civcas
3 September 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to include violations committed against children living in conflict in its protection of civilians strategy.Chris Law (Dundee West)International Humanitarian Law (IHL) provides a robust legal framework for the protection of all civilians (including children) and combatants, and the UK works closely with states and NGOs to promote compliance with this legal framework.The UK is committed to protecting children affected by armed conflict, including ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers. As an active member of the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), we have been working in particular on how to improve humanitarian access for children in conflict. The UK frequently applies diplomatic pressure to states and non-state armed groups who violate the rights of children in conflict contexts, and funds projects to help protect and rehabilitate vulnerable children. In April 2018, we endorsed the Safe School Declaration and we are encouraging other countries to follow suit. The UK worked very closely with Sweden and others to agree a UN Security Council Resolution on Children and Armed Conflict which was adopted in early July this year. The UK has also endorsed the guidance set out in both the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles, which aims to ensure that child protection is an operational priority for UN peacekeeping missions.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-09-03/169420/Policy: civcas children
23 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the realisation of the economic potential of drones for the UK economy in the forthcoming draft Drones Bill.Karl Turner, Kingston upon Hull EastThe measures included in the current consultation, which will feed into the upcoming draft Drones Bill, are a key step in maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader in the drones services market; by tackling misuse and building public confidence in drone technology and encouraging positive, innovative drone use. The consultation includes a proposal to mandate the use of safety apps which, if taken forward, will be one of the initial steps towards facilitating an unmanned traffic management system (UTM) and to unlocking the future potential of drones. The intention is to publish the draft Drones Bill later this year, following consultation.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-23/167242/Drones Bill
23 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the draft Drones Bill will include proposals for the creation of (a) U-space and (b) unmanned traffic management.Karl TurnerThe measures included in the current consultation, which will feed into the upcoming draft Drones Bill, are a key step in maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader in the drones services market; by tackling misuse and building public confidence in drone technology and encouraging positive, innovative drone use. The consultation includes a proposal to mandate the use of safety apps which, if taken forward, will be one of the initial steps towards facilitating an unmanned traffic management system (UTM) and to unlocking the future potential of drones. The intention is to publish the draft Drones Bill later this year, following consultation.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-23/167245/Drone BillUK
23 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government are taking to ensure that UK regulations will be sufficiently aligned to EU rules to support (a) the export of drones to Europe and (b) the operation of drones with UK approval in Europe after the UK leaves the EU.Karl TurnerThe Government and the CAA continue to engage with EASA on the development of its Basic Regulation and associated implementing regulations, which will establish new EU regulations for safe drone operations. Future arrangements on the export and operation of drones will be a matter for negotiations.It is the Government’s intention to remain part of the EASA system after exit, and to maintain a common rulebook with the EU for goods.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-23/167246/Drone BillUK
21 JuneTo ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to his Written Statement of 23 May 2018, Official Report, HCWS716, whether the Government's new agreement with Saudi Arabia includes providing information, advice and assistance for Saudi or Saudi-led coalition military operations in Yemen.Stephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeHer Majesty's Government is working with Saudi Arabia to mitigate the threat from missiles fired from Yemen across the border into Saudi Arabia. UK personnel are providing information, advice and assistance limited to this objective. For reasons of operational security further details of this support are not being provided.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-06-21/156458Assistance; Saudi Arabia
21 JuneTo ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 23 May 2018 on Saudi Arabia, HCWS716, whether he sought legal advice on the UK Government's role in providing information, advice and assistance to Saudi Arabia against the threat of Houthi missiles; and if he will make a statementStephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeLegal advice was sought prior to the Written Ministerial Statement of 23 Mayhttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-06-21/156456Assistance; legal advice
20 JulyTo ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for unmanned transport systems to supply troops on the front line.Lord Kennedy of SouthwarkThe Defence Scientific and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is leading the Ministry of Defence's research in this area, working with the US Department of Defense to accelerate and demonstrate the effective use of new robotic and autonomous systems technologies.This includes the 'Last Mile Challenge' innovation initiative which has challenged industry and academia to look at how delivery drones and resupply robots can provide vital reinforcements to frontline troops. The challenge is worth a total of £3.8 million over the next 12 months with prototypes being built for demonstration later this year. Four of the five successful organisations are British-led with a wide range of sub-contractors from small and medium sized enterprises, industry and academia.These capabilities and other emerging military technologies will be tested and evaluated at the Autonomous Warrior, Army Warfighting Exercise in November 2018. The exercise, which involves all three Services, DSTL, the US Army and around 50 industry participants, will test a range of research projects including in surveillance, long-range and precision targeting, enhancing mobility and the re-supply of forces, urban warfare and enhanced situational awareness. The lessons identified will support decision making for future investment in ground-breaking technology and innovation to ensure the Army and British industry remain at the cutting edge of technology and combat tactics.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-07-20/HL9747/technology: delivery dronesUK
17-20 July 2018Smuggling drugs into prisons with drones 166453; 164970; 14554https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-20/166453/; https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-17/164970/; https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-05-18/145547/Drug smuggling into prisonsDomestic
17 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support his Department is providing to security forces in Nigeria to tackle violence between different groups in the Middle Belt.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordAssistance provided by the Ministry of Defence to the Nigerian security forces is focussed on Nigerian efforts to counter the threat of terrorism in the North East of the country. The Ministry of Defence does not provide support specifically targeted at tackling the violence in the Middle Belthttps://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-07-10/162568Assistance; Nigeria
17 July 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government what training the army and Joint Forces Command supply to the Palestinian Authority Security Forces; what is their budget for such training; and which department provides the budget.Baroness TongeI refer the noble Baroness to the answer I gave her on 19 June 2018, to HL 8534. This training is paid for by the cross-Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and MOD's Defence Assistance Fund (DAF). In financial year 2017-18, the CSSF spend was £2.32 million; and DAF spend was £145,000https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2018-07-17/HL9623assistance; Palestine
12 July 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the Prime Minister's statement on 11 July, how the additional 440 UK military personnel to be deployed to the NATO mission in Afghanistan will "bring the stability and security that the Afghan people deserve"The Marquess of LothianThe uplift of 440 personnel will join the UK-led Kabul Security Force (KSF), which supports the wider NATO Train Advise Assist mission with non-combat support for the Afghan National Defence and Security Force (ANDSF). This support enables NATO advisors in the city to undertake capacity-building and directly mentors the ANDSF on delivering security for the civilian population, which they been responsible for since 2015. The UK is already playing a critical role, alongside our NATO partners, in training the ANDSF so they have the skills to maintain stability in a challenging environment. The UK uplift will further bolster these efforts where our operational experience and expertise directly benefit the ANDSF.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/lords/2018-07-12/HL9498Assistance; Afghanistan; NATO; Kabul Security Force
12 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he has plans to develop a (a) UK-only unmanned combat aerial vehicle programme and (a) sixth generation successor to the Eurofighter.Tom Brake, LD Carshalton and WallingtonThe UK's Combat Air Strategy, published on 16 July 2018, outlines the Ministry of Defence's plans for the delivery of Combat Air capability. It has initiated the acquisition programme which will develop the proposals for the delivery of the next generation capability to replace Typhoon, including the nature of that capability.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-07-12/163497/TechnologyUK
1 July 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make it his policy to establish permanent arrangements to be activated automatically at the start of any UK military campaign to (a) record and (b) report estimated civilian casualties caused by UK military action; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of such arrangements being established (i) within his Department exclusively or (ii) on a cross-departmental basis.Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave him to Question 158137 on 4 July 2018. (see below)https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-06-27/158141/Policy: civcas
27 June 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of Sir John Chilcot's Report of the Iraq Inquiry, published on 6 July 2016, on future (a) recording and (b) reporting of civilian casualties caused by UK military action; and if he will make a statement.The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes very seriously the conclusions set out at paragraphs 277 ("The Inquiry considers that a Government has a responsibility to make every reasonable effort to identify and understand the likely and actual effects of its military actions on civilians") and 280 ("The Government should be ready to work with others, in particular Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions, to develop such assessments and estimates over time") of Section 17 of the Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot) Report. Since the publication of the Report, officials have been in discussion with several NGOs concerning these conclusions. In response to this dialogue, the Department now releases statistics relating to the number of civilians admitted to UK military field hospitals. In addition, the MOD publication 'The Good Operation'(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-good-operation ), a handbook for those involved in operational policy and its implementation published in January 2018, highlights paragraph 277 of Section 17 (on page 8); invites policy-makers to assess the likely impact of an operation on the populace, including factors such as protection of non-combatants (page 23); and draws attention to the legal dimension of operational planning, including targeting and rules of engagement, on pages 33-35. These considerations are a central part of our planning and campaign assessment processes. We are keen to continue the dialogue with NGOs over the coming period to ensure that, as far as practicably possible, we continue to address the conclusions set out in paragraphs 277 and 280 of Section 17.The current official statistics on operational casualties are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-and-uk-civilian-operational-casualty-and-fatality-statistics The operations on which we are currently reporting (KIPION, SHADER and TORAL) do not incorporate a deployed field hospital, hence no civilian casualty data are currently being reported regarding admissions to deployed UK military medical facilities. We intend to start reporting on numbers of casualties for Op TRENTON (South Sudan) as a UK field hospital is deployed, subject to further work on data compliance issues.We have previously published civilian numbers being treated in a UK field hospital as part of reporting for Op GRITROCK in Sierra Leone, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-and-uk-civilian-operational-casualty-and-fatality-statistics-financial-year-20142015 It is also important to stress that we do everything we can to minimise the risk to civilians from UK military action, not least through the professionalism of our personnel. Reports of civilian casualties are taken very seriously and will continue to be. We already have in place a process by which we identify any evidence that a civilian casualty may inadvertently have occurred. Any such evidence is assessed and if it is credible, it is passed to the relevant authorities for investigation. The results are published where any investigation shows that the UK has been responsible.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-06-27/158137/Policy: civcas
20 June 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advanced satellite monitoring and drone technologies his Department has made available to support implementation of the Blue Belt policy around the (a) Ascension Islands and (b) British Indian Ocean Territory.Angela Smith, Labour, Penistone and StocksbridgeThere are currently no funded programmes relating to satellite monitoring or drone technologies that support the implementation of Blue Belt policy around the Ascension Islands and British Indian Ocean Territory.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-06-20/155729/Policy: Environmental protectionBritish territory
18 June 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to the government of Israel about the Israeli military's use of drones which drop firebombs within the borders of Gaza.Baroness TongeWe are not aware of these specific incidents and have not raised them with the Israeli authorities. We continue to raise our concerns over the situation in Gaza with the Israeli authorities.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-06-18/HL8751/Human Rights Gaza
11 June 2018How many drones will we have for the RAF, the Royal Navy and the Army by 2027, both for reconnaissance and for taking out our enemies?Philip Hollobone, Conservative, KetteringI am happy to concede that my hon. Friend has caught me on the hop. I am not able to give him a specific answer at this time, but I am sure that he will allow me to write to him to confirm those figures in due course.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2018-06-11a.568.11#g569.5
15 May 2018To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the merits of using drones to drop emergency aid into Syria; and if he will make a statement.Mr Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)Aid delivered by road by trusted humanitarian partners is by far the most effective way to meet needs in Syria and to ensure that it reaches those most in need. We have, however, examined all options as part of our determination to do everything we can to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.Airdrops, manned or using drones, are not capable of meeting either the scale of needs or delivering many of the kinds of aid that could address the priority needs that we see in Syria (e.g. safe drinking water, health support). Furthermore, we judge that such an operation would carry a high level of risk because the consent is needed of those who control the airspace and those on the ground that could threaten aircraft. There is nothing to suggest that the Assad regime would provide such consent, given that it continues to use the denial of aid as a weapon of war.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-05-15/144164/Drones humanitarian aidSyria
16 April 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on the maintenance of the presidential policy guidance on use of drone strikes issued under President Obama; and if he will make a statement.Alex Sobel MPThe British Government has not held any recent discussions with the US Government on the maintenance of the Presidential Policy Guidance on approving direct action against terrorist targets issued in 2013.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-03-28/134642/
27 March 2018To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the merits of using unarmed drones to deliver humanitarian aid in Syria.Graham P Jones MP, HyndburnAid delivered by road by trusted humanitarian partners is by far the most effective way to meet needs in Syria and to ensure that it reaches those most in need. We have, however, examined all options as part of our determination to do everything we can to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

Airdrops, manned or using drones, are not capable of meeting either the scale of needs or delivering many of the kinds of aid that could address the priority needs that we see in Syria (e.g. safe drinking water, health support). Furthermore, we judge that such an operation would carry a high level of risk because the consent is needed of those who control the airspace and those on the ground that could threaten aircraft. There is nothing to suggest that the Assad regime would provide such consent, given that it continues to use the denial of aid as a weapon of war.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-03-21/133804/HumanitarianSyria
21 March 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the UK’s (a) legal framework and (b) guidance on its use of lethal force.Steve McCabe, Labour, Birmingham, Selly OakI refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Sheffield South East (Mr Clive Betts) in response to Question 128425 on 22 February 2018.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-03-21/133772Law
21 March 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the use of lethal force is confined to (a) armed conflicts in which the UK is openly involved and (b) exceptional circumstances in which there is an imminent threat to the UK.Steve McCabe, Labour, Birmingham, Selly OakThe use of offensive lethal force overseas is controlled by robust Rules of Engagement and is ordinarily confined to armed conflicts in which the UK is openly involved. However, and as the Government has stated previously, if the UK is subject to an armed attack or the imminent threat of an armed attack, it reserves the right to take action first and inform Parliament after the event. Any decision to use lethal force outside of an armed conflict would be conducted on a case by case basis but always cognisant of the international law principles of necessity and proportionality.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-03-21/133771Law
5 March 2018T2. After the Secretary of State’s statement that terrorists cannot harm us and his ministry was forced to admit that its drone policy was misleading and erroneously ​drafted, will the Secretary of State tell the House whether it is the policy of the UK Government to kill people outside warzones?Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonOur Department and our armed forces always operate within the letter of UK and international law. *BUT* Do our armed forces step up to keep our country safe from terrorist threats? Yes they do, and they will continue to do so. I am very proud of the amazing work they do to keep this country safe. I hope the right hon. Gentleman is also proud.https://goo.gl/LiZH2P Tweet by Drone Wars pointing out omission of *BUT* https://twitter.com/Drone_Wars_UK/status/970957678808895490 Policy
1 March 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many US (a) military personnel, (b) contractors and (c) civilians are stationed at RAF Fylingdales Alex Sobel, Labour, Leeds North West The number of US military, US contractor and US civilian personnel at RAF Fylingdales as at 1 March 2018 can be found below;

US Military personnel

~

US Contractor

10

US Civilian personnel

0

In accordance with the Data Protection Act data has been rounded to the nearest 10 where ~ denotes a number less than 5.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-03-01/130642Bases
28 Februrary 2018To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbeldon on 28 February, whether their current assessment of the ability of Iraqi legal capacity and expertise indicates that prosecuting Daesh fighters in their courts will be possible soon; and whether they are considering the possibility of UN-sanctioned regional tribunals, in the territories of Iraq and Syria, in order to prosecute Daesh fighters. Lord Alton of Liverpool, Liberal DemocratDaesh must be held accountable for their crimes. Daesh fighters – regardless of their nationality – should be brought to justice according to legal due process.

The Investigative Team established under UN Security Council Resolution 2379 will gather evidence of Daesh crimes, beginning in Iraq. The Terms of Reference for the UN Investigative Team have been agreed and I look forward to its deployment. The UK has contributed £1 million to support the establishment of this team. We are encouraging other States to contribute to it. The UK is funding a project that builds Iraqi organisations' capacity to document and present evidence of gender-based violence.

The Investigative Team will collect evidence of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to the highest standards and ensure the broadest possible use of evidence. Iraq will be the primary intended recipient of the evidence, but it can be used to support prosecutions elsewhere. It may be that some form of international or hybrid justice mechanism may be appropriate in the future, but it is too early – and not for the UK alone – to pre-determine that.

We are working with the Iraqi judiciary to build their capacity. The Resolution calls on member states to provide similar support. The UN will soon deploy a 'Needs Assessment Mission' to Iraq to determine where member states and the UN should target their capacity building.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2018-02-28/HL5931due processIraq
26 February 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia on ensuring that Saudi military actions in Yemen avoid civilian casualties.Keith Vaz, Labour, Leicester EastWe regularly raise the importance of compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the Saudi-led Coalition at all levels. When allegations of IHL violations are made, we insist that they are investigated and that any lessons are acted upon. We have also provided training on IHL compliance to the Saudi-led coalition.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-02-26/129602/Civilian Casualties
19 February 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish his Department's (a) legal framework and (b) guidance on the use of lethal force.
Clive Betts, Labour, Sheffield South EastThe use of military force is governed by applicable UK and International Law. The UK Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict sets out UK practice and is available at the following internet address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jsp-383-the-joint-service-manual-of-the-law-of-armed-conflict-2004-edition.

As the Government has stated previously there is no separate policy or legal guidance on the use of force outside of an armed conflict. Rather it has a policy to protect the UK and its citizens against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack. In implementing this policy it may draw on a wide range of options including, in extremis, the use of lethal force. As such a decision to use lethal force outside of an armed conflict would be conducted on a case by case basis.
https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2018-02-19/128435Law
7 February 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what criteria is used by his Department to estimate the level of civilian casualties as a result of UK airstrikes.Hilary Benn, Labour, Leeds CentralIn line with International Humanitarian Law, pre-strike assessments are undertaken to ensure that we minimise the risk to civilians and civilian objects. Post-strike the UK uses a range of methods, which may include the use of full motion video, to judge the effectiveness of its airstrikes and to determine whether we have caused civilian casualties. The Ministry of Defence is committed to investigating any credible reports that UK airstrikes have been responsible for civilian casualties.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-01-29/125442/Civilian Casualties
7 February 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has a published legal framework and guidance on its use of lethal force using armed drones (a) in recognised conflict zones and (b) outside conflict zones.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe use of military force, regardless of whether it is delivered by manned or unmanned aircraft or any other military equipment, is governed by applicable UK and International Law. The UK Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict sets out UK practice and is available at the following internet address: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jsp-383-the-joint-service-manual-of-the-law-of-armed-conflict-2004-edition. As the Government has stated previously there is no separate policy or legal guidance on the use of force outside of an armed conflict. Rather it has a policy to protect the UK and its citizens against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack. In implementing this policy it may draw on a wide range of options including, in extremis, the use of lethal force. As such a decision to use lethal force outside of an armed conflict would be conducted on a case by case basis.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-02-07/127305/Law
6 February 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the Government’s policy is on the use of drones overseas outside of conflict zones.Dr David Drew MP, Labour, StroudAs the Government has stated previously there is no policy or guidance on the use of force outside of an armed conflict. Rather it has a policy to protect the UK and its citizens against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack. In implementing this policy it may draw on a wide range of options including, in extremis, the use of lethal force. As such a decision to use lethal force outside of an armed conflict would be conducted on a case by case basis but always in accordance with applicable UK and International Law.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-02-06/126975/Policy
29 January 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what criteria is used by his Department to estimate the level of civilian casualties as a result of UK airstrikes.Hilary Benn, Labour, Leeds CentralIn line with International Humanitarian Law, pre-strike assessments are undertaken to ensure that we minimise the risk to civilians and civilian objects. Post-strike the UK uses a range of methods, which may include the use of full motion video, to judge the effectiveness of its airstrikes and to determine whether we have caused civilian casualties. The Ministry of Defence is committed to investigating any credible reports that UK airstrikes have been responsible for civilian casualties.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-01-29/125442/Civilian Casualties
8 January 2018To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the number of civilian casualties in Syria as a result of UK air strikes.David Linden, SNP, Glasgow East In carrying out airstrikes, expert analysts routinely examine data from every UK strike to assess its effect, and we do everything we can to minimise the risk of civilian casualties through rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of the RAF crews. We co-operate fully with NGOs such as Airwars, who provide evidence they gather of civilian casualties. After detailed work on each case, we have been able to discount RAF involvement in any civilian casualties as a result of any of the strikes that have been brought to our attention.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-12-20/120695/Civilian Casualties
20 December 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the number of civilian casualties in Syria as a result of UK air strikes.
David Linden, SNP, Glasgow East In carrying out airstrikes, expert analysts routinely examine data from every UK strike to assess its effect, and we do everything we can to minimise the risk of civilian casualties through rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of the RAF crews. We co-operate fully with NGOs such as Airwars, who provide evidence they gather of civilian casualties. After detailed work on each case, we have been able to discount RAF involvement in any civilian casualties as a result of any of the strikes that have been brought to our attention.Civilian CasualtiesSyria
30 November 2017To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States regarding the legal criteria under which an individual is deemed to be a member of ISIS.Baroness Stern, Crossbench Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-11-16/HL3312/Targetting
29 November 2017To ask Her Majesty's Government by what criteria they assess an individual to have taken a direct role in hostilities in Iraq and Syria.Baroness Stern, Crossbench UK individuals suspected of taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq will be investigated to determine if they have taken part in terrorist related activity. This assessment is an operational matter, determined on a case by case basis by police. Where there is evidence that crimes have been committed, those responsible should expect to be prosecuted under the full range of existing counter terrorism legislation.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-11-16/HL3311/Targetting
28 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures are in place to determine whether British-born ISIS combatants have surrendered following the fall of Mosul and RaqqaClive Lewis, Labour, Norwich South Those who have committed criminal offences should expect to be prosecuted for their crimes under the full range of existing counter terrorism legislation. Any decision on whether to prosecute will be taken by the police and Crown Prosecution Service on a case by case basishttp://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-11-20/114631/Hors combatSyria
24 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2017 to Question 106342, which policy or policies govern UK sharing of intelligence with the US for use in US drone strikes outside of areas of armed conflict.Caroline Lucas
Green, Brighton, Pavilion
Prior to sharing intelligence with any nation, regardless of the operation, the UK conducts robust assessments to ensure that our contribution to that operation complies with UK and International Law.https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-11-24/115650/Intelligence Sharing
24 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what role the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability of the Royal Air Force's Reaper Fleet has played in determining whether an individual is an ISIS combatant.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralAn individual is identified as being a Daesh combatant after UK commanders, as part of the Coalition, have undertaken a rigorous surveillance and targeting process. This process is no different on the UK Reaper fleet than on any other UK airborne strike platform. The precise indicators and procedure cannot be shared publicly, in order to protect operational effectiveness.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-31/110648/ISR; TargettingSyria
16 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what role the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability of the Royal Air Force's Reaper Fleet has played in determining whether an individual is an ISIS combatant.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralAn individual is identified as being a Daesh combatant after UK commanders, as part of the Coalition, have undertaken a rigorous surveillance and targeting process. This process is no different on the UK Reaper fleet than on any other UK airborne strike platform. The precise indicators and procedure cannot be shared publicly, in order to protect operational effectiveness.
16 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of the report into the loss of Watchkeeper drones (a) WK042 and (b) WK043.Martin Docherty-Hughes SNP, West DunbartonshireThe Service Inquiries into Watchkeeper Unmanned Air Vehicles WK042 and WK043 are currently ongoing, and will be published through Gov.uk and placed in the Library of the House upon completion.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-11-16/113630/ISR
7 November 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many people work at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill; and how many of those people are (a) US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, (b) US contractors, (c) US civilians, (d) NSA, (e) NRO, personnel, (f) US CIA, (g) British military, (h) RAF personnel, including the RAF Liaison Officer, (i) his Department's personnel, (j) GCHQ personnel, (k) British contractors and (l) British civilians.Alex Sobel, Labour, Leeds North WestThe numbers of personnel based at RAF Menwith Hill are given below, and are current as of 8 November 2017:

US Military

33

US Contractors

344

US Civilians

250

UK Military

7 (5 RN; 2 RAF)

UK Contractors

85

UK Civilians

486

The number of GCHQ employees is included in the overall figure for UK civilians as it is Government practice not to disclose the number of personnel working in intelligence at specific locations.

The US authorities do not release a detailed breakdown of US civilian personnel; therefore the overall total of US civilians has been provided.
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-11-07/112002/MilitaryMenwith Hill
31 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the reported use of civilians, including women and children as human shields by ISIS combatants in Syria; and whether this falls within acceptable collateral damage.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralAs operations in Iraq and Syria have intensified we have seen increasing evidence of Daesh's callous disregard for human life, their unwillingness to allow civilians to leave their homes, and in some cases their deliberate attempts to use civilians to shield their fighters from coalition strikes, which is completely unacceptable.

All UK strikes are planned and executed in strict accordance with International Humanitarian Law and we take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from the effects of military action.
Civilian Casualties; Collateral Damage
31 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the reported use of civilians, including women and children as human shields by ISIS combatants in Syria; and whether this falls within acceptable collateral damage.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralWe continue to work closely with the US and our other partners in the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh and to ensure justice for those who have suffered at their hands. The Foreign Secretary discusses the Global Coalition's action against Daesh on a regular basis with US colleagues.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-31/110698/Civilian CasualtiesSyria
31 October 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the ISC report on lethal drone strikes in Syria published in April 2017, what steps the Government is taking to better scrutinise and assess collateral damage arising from UK or joint operations drone strikes.
Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralIn accordance with our obligations under International Law, strikes conducted by the RAF only take place after a robust assessment to ensure that collateral damage from our strike is minimised. Following a strike, the UK conducts battle damage assessment which includes a review of whether there have been any civilian casualties or collateral damage.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-31/110648/Civilian CasualtiesSyria
31 October 2017To ask the Attorney General, how the Government complies with Article 16 of the International Law Commission's Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Unlawful Acts, with specific reference to the sharing of intelligence to identify targets with our coalition partners.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralWhilst the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Unlawful Acts have not been adopted as a treaty, the Government considers that Article 16 generally reflects customary international law. The Government is committed to upholding international law and when cooperating with other States the Government will always seek to ensure that its actions remain lawful at all times. The Government does not comment on specific matters concerning the sharing of intelligence.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-31/110698/LawGlobal
20 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterparts on the reported death of Joe Dixon as a result of a drone strike in Syria.Clive Lewis, Labour, Norwich South The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is aware of media reports that Sally Jones and her son, Joe Dixon, were killed in a drone strike in Syria in June. The FCO does not comment on security matters.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-17/108164/Targetting Syria
12 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions since August 2015 the UK has provided (a) intelligence, (b) communications, (c) material and (d) other assistance to the US in its use of lethal force under the legal basis of self-defence.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonWe do not routinely comment on other nations' operations or on any intelligence matters.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-12/107314EmbedsGlobal
6 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Departmental policy, as outlined in Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2 unmanned aircraft systems of August 2017 includes targeting conducted (a) jointly by the different armed forces or (b) with allied nations.Stephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeThe Joint Doctrine Publication on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) applies to all uses of UAS across Defence at the operational level. It guides operational commanders and planning staff in understanding the terminology, tasking and employment of the UK's UAS.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-06/106066/PolicyUK
6 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Departmental policy, as outlined in Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2 unmanned aircraft systems of August 2017 applies to strikes outside of war zones.Stephen Gethins, SNP, North East FifeThe Joint Doctrine Publication on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) applies to all uses of UAS across Defence at the operational level. It guides operational commanders and planning staff in understanding the terminology, tasking and employment of the UK's UAS.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-06/106066/LawUK
6 October 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, at which locations the Armed Forces' pilot-less drones are flown for training purposes.Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru, CeredigionAll Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) operated by the Armed Forces are controlled from the ground. The Armed Forces undertake routine flying activity on RPAS at the following locations:
UK:
Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.
Lulworth Cove Traning Area, Dorset.
Okehampton Training Area, Dartmoor.
Otterburn Training Area, Northumberland.
RAF Spadeadam, Cumbria.
Royal Naval Air Station, Culdrose.
Salisbury Plain Training Area, Wiltshire.
Sennybridge Training Area, Wales.
Stanford Training Area, Norfolk.
West Wales Airport & Aberporth Range.
Overseas:
British Army Training Unit, Kenya.
British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada.
Camp Roberts, California, USA.
Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, USA.
Grafenwohr Training Area, Germany.
Hohenfels Training Area, Germany.
Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, USA.
Sennelager Training Area, Germany.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-10-06/106051/MilitaryUK
3 April 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilians have been killed or injured by British airstrikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since 1 January 2017.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonWe have not seen any evidence that UK airstrikes have been responsible for causing civilian casualties in Iraq or Syria since 1 January 2017. After each strike, we perform a detailed battle damage assessment which includes video evidence which is used to assess the success of the mission.

None of the allegations we have received so far have been found to contain any evidence that RAF airstrikes have caused civilian casualties. While no military operations come without risk, we take all steps necessary to minimise the risk of causing civilian causalities and avoidable damage to civilian infrastructure. All weapons employed by RAF aircraft are delivered in strict accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and within rigorous Rules of Engagement.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-28/69625/Civilian CasualtiesIraq and Syria
3 April 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made any changes to the definition of civilian casualty in relation to British military action against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since 1 January 2017.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonNohttp://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-28/69517/Civilian CasualtiesIraq and Syria
17 March 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with drone manufacturers on the use of mapping services for geo-fencing.
Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldGeo-fencing capabilities require accurate and up-to-date mapping information including details of restricted airspace. The Department for Transport is in discussion with manufacturers, other Government departments and subject matter experts to develop processes to ensure this information can be provided in an appropriate and assured way.

Many of the leading drone manufacturers already include forms of geo-fencing capability on their drones. However, as geo-fencing is not infallible, the Department for Transport is also in discussions with manufacturers to explore how it and other technical safety measures might be improved.

The Government has just closed a consultation on the future safe use of drones in the UK, which included a proposal to require geo-fencing to be installed on all commercially sold drones. The Department will produce its conclusions from the consultation in the summer of this year.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-10/67390/CivilUK
16 March 2017To ask the Attorney General, what the Government's policy is on which factors to take into account when deciding whether responding to an imminent threat is permitted under international law.Karl McCartney
Conservative, Lincoln
It is the long-standing position of successive UK Governments that a state may use force in self-defence not only in response to armed attacks but to prevent an armed attack that is imminent. In each exercise of the use of force in self-defence, the UK asks itself questions such as: how certain is it that an attack will come; how soon do we believe an attack could be; what could be the scale of the attack; could this be our last opportunity to take action; and is there anything else we could credibly do to prevent that attack?Jeremy Wright
The Attorney-General
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-13/909275/LawUK
16 March 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to require geo-fencing to be installed on all drones for commercial sale.
Lord Blencathra
Conservative
The Government’s consultation on the future safe use of drones in the UK closed on 15 March 2017. It included a proposal to require geo-fencing to be installed on all commercially sold drones. The Department intends to publish its conclusions from the consultation in the summer of this year, when we have fully analysed the evidence presented.

Many of the leading drone manufacturers already include forms of geo-fencing capability on their drones. However, as geo-fencing is not infallible, the Department is in discussions with manufacturers to explore how it and other technical safety measures might be improved.

The Government is also considering a number of other measures to promote the safe use of drones, such as improving information provision and increasing the penalties for breaking the law.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-03-08/HL5925/CivilUK
15 March 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2017 to Question 64012, how many UK personnel are assigned to US Africa Command; at what bases they are stationed; and what roles they undertake.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe UK currently has eight posts established within US Africa Command (Stuttgart) and its subordinate command Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) (Djibouti):

One Senior UK Liaison Officer (Stuttgart)
One Deputy UK Liaison Officer and Intelligence Liaison Officer (Stuttgart)
One Embed Planning Officer (Stuttgart)
Three Liaison Planning/Operations Officer (Stuttgart)
One Embed Planning Officer (Djibouti)
One Embed Intelligence Officer (Djibouti)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-09/67275/EmbedsGlobal
14 March 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to Answer of 3 July 2014 to Question 202477, whether all deployments of US military personnel from (a) RAF Menwith Hill, (b) RAF Croughton and (c) RAF Molesworth are carried out with the full knowledge and consent of the Government.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe deployment of US military personnel from the United States Visiting Forces bases at RAF Menwith Hill, RAF Croughton and RAF Molesworth is a matter for the US military authorities; there is no requirement for the Ministry of Defence to be notified of such deployments.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-03-09/67332/US basesUK
21 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of civilian casualties in Syria as a result of UK air strikes.Margaret Ritchie
Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down
To date there have been no known cases of civilian casualties resulting from UK strikes in Syria. All strikes take place in accordance with UK Rules of Engagement.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-02-09/908817/Civilian CasualtiesSyria
20 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to assess the practicability of delivering aid to besieged areas of Syria by drone; and if she will make a statement.Stephen Timms
Labour, East Ham
Aid delivered by road, by trusted humanitarian partners who ensure it gets to those who need it most, is the most effective way to meet needs in Syria. We are pushing the Assad regime to allow this, while working tirelessly with our partners to examine all other options for getting aid into besieged areas.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-02-08/63719/
15 February 2017To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the 54 Watchkeeper reconnaissance drones ordered by the Ministry of Defence in 2005 have yet entered service; and if not, why not. The Marquess of Lothian
Conservative
Watchkeeper is in service with the British Army, first deploying on operations to Afghanistan in 2014.

We do not routinely comment on the specific status of equipment as to do so would compromise operational security and would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-02-08/HL5372/MilitaryUK
6 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on policies to minimise the risk of civilian casualties when conducting operations against Daesh.Lucy Powell
Labour, Manchester Central
I have spoken to the new Secretary of Defense and look forward to further discussions with him later this month on the counter Daesh campaign in which the need to minimise civilian casualties is a key factor for the Iraqi government, and for the Coalition in supporting them.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-30/62362/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
6 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on maintaining the Executive Order on US Policy on Pre- and Post-Strike Measures to Address Civilian Casualties.Lucy Powell
Labour, Manchester Central
The maintenance of the Executive Order on US Policy on Pre and Post-Strike Measures to Address Civilian Casualties is a matter for the US Administration.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-30/62364/Civilian CasualtiesUS
3 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making through the European Aviation Safety Agency to update common drone regulations; and in what ways he intends his Department's consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK to support that process.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldThe Department for Transport has been actively participating in negotiations on the revision of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Basic Regulation, which will include EU-wide safety rules for all unmanned aircraft.

EASA is currently in the process of drafting its proposed harmonised European rules for the ‘Open’ and ‘Specific’ categories of drones. This proposal is planned to go out to consultation at the end of March 2017. The Civil Aviation Authority participates in the EASA Expert Group of subject matter experts, and is assisting with the development of the proposal.

The Government’s consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK closes on 15 March 2017. There are several proposals contained within which may require updated regulation. We will continue to feed relevant UK experience into the EASA process; in particular, to ensure continued support for the development of a proportionate regulatory framework.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-31/62613/CivilUK
3 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Civil Aviation Authority and (b) external groups, regarding the Civil Aviation Authority's definition of a safe distance used for regulating drone activity; and how that definition compares with those used by other countries.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldThe Department for Transport (DfT) works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and industry to adapt and strengthen regulations and implement mitigations as drone use and the related technology evolves.

The Air Navigation Order 2016 sets out several rules which drone users must abide by. In particular, users must not fly drones with cameras within 50m of any vehicle, structure or person which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft. They must also not fly drones over or within 150m of any congested area or large crowds of people.

Permitted distances will vary dependent on factors such as the structure or area that the drone is in proximity to and may also vary depending on the category of drone (e.g. for drones of a particular weight, or those with or without cameras). As there is no internationally agreed definition of “safe distance” it is difficult to make comparisons with other countries. However, we are collaborating internationally to share learning and best practice.

The Government is currently consulting on the future safe use of drones in the UK, and the DfT and CAA will consider reviewing these regulatory requirements for drone activity on the basis of the consultation responses. The consultation can be found on gov.uk and closes on 15 March 2017.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-31/62466/CivilUK
3 February 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 January 2017 to Question 59205, whether he plans that JDP 0-30.2, The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft System, will make a distinction between the use of remotely piloted air systems (a) within and (b) outside areas of armed conflict.Lucy Powell
Labour, Manchester Central
The current draft of Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, discusses current and potential future employment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems both within and outside areas of "armed conflict".http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-30/62363/PolicyUK
1 February 2017To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are taking to improve the safety of drones and to reduce the likelihood of collisions with aircraft, pending the outcome of the current consultation on the safe use of drones.Baroness Randerson, Lib DemThe Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of partners, including the British Airline Pilots' Association and the Police, to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up to date. Work is underway to better understand the risk posed by drones to commercial aircraft and ensure that the regulatory and industry responses remain fit for purpose. We continue to develop proposals which we will put forward in the near future, and in December 2016 the Government launched a consultation to determine if further measures are needed in this area.

We have also been working closely with the CAA and industry to adapt and strengthen regulations and implement mitigations as drones use and the related technology evolves. This has led to a new safety awareness campaign aimed at leisure drone users. So far, this has included the launch of a new http://www.dronesafe.uk website, a #400ftBritain drone photography competition that highlights safety rules, and a free new app ‘Drone Assist’ by NATS, which shows users where they should and should not fly in their locality.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-01-26/HL5042/CivilUK
30 January 2017To ask Her Majesty’s Government what rights exist for individuals and organisations to deal with drones which appear over their property.Baroness Byford
Conservative
The Air Navigation Order 2016 sets out several rules which drone users must abide by. In particular, users must not fly drones with cameras within 50m of any vehicle, structure or person which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft, unless they have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.

Non-aviation specific legal rules are also relevant. For example, failure to fly a drone at a height over the property of another person which is ‘reasonable’ in all circumstances could amount to trespass if the flight interferes with another person’s ordinary use and enjoyment of land and the structures upon it. In the case of trespass, a civil claim may be brought against the drone user seeking compensation for any damage suffered as a result of the trespass. Alternatively, an injunction may be sought to prevent trespass in the future.

The Government is currently consulting on the future safe use of drones in the UK, including proposals such as registration and making drones electronically identifiable and strengthening penalties for breaking the law. The consultation can be found on gov.uk and closes on 15 March 2017.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2017-01-18/HL4751/CivilUK
17 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 10 March 2016 to Question 30085, on unmanned air vehicles: deployment, whether the UK-US Memorandum of Understanding remains valid; and whether the provisions of that Understanding have been enacted by either party since 10 March 2016.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralThe UK-US Memorandum of Understanding that enables interoperability of UK and US Reaper aircraft by both nations remains valid but has not been enacted since 10 March 2016.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-11/59577/MilitaryUK-US
16 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30, entitled UK Air Space Doctrine, will cover the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralThe next edition of Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30 UK Air and Space Doctrine will refer to the employment of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft systems but will not discuss specific systems. Greater detail will be contained in Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2 The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-09/59206/PolicyUK
16 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Written Answer of 26 September 2016, HL 1779, whether Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, entitled The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, will address the conclusions and recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Second Report of Session 2015-16, the Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing, HC 574, published on 10 May 2016.Lucy Powell, Labour, Manchester CentralIn the Government's response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights 4th Report The Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing, the Secretary of State for Defence made clear during his evidence session, the Government does not have a 'policy on targeted killing'. Rather it has a policy to defend the UK and its citizens against threats to their security.

The Government takes the view that the existing legal frameworks, including both applicable international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) are adequate to govern the use of Remotely Piloted Air Systems and, therefore, that there is no need to develop a special regime for the use of these weapons.

All doctrine produced by the Ministry of Defence's Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre is subject to legal review. The current draft of JDP 0-30.2 is no exception and it is compliant with the UK's legal and policy framework that regulates the use of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft systems.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-09/59205/PolicyUK
13 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2016 to Question 46487, to which countries RAF Reaper drones have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties since 20 September 2016.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenPursuant to my previous answer, since 20 September 2016 UK Reapers continue to operate in support of Operation SHADER in Iraq and Syria on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-10/59496/MilitaryIraq and Syria
13 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the MQ-9 Reaper User Group next plans to meet.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenNo date has been set for the next MQ-9 Reaper User Group meeting.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-10/59421/MilitaryGlobal
13 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2016 to Question 27212, if he will release a releasable version of the JSP 900 UK Targeting Policy.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenWhile we are working to produce an updated version of JSP900 which is releasable to 5-eyes and NATO allies, it is now not the case that we are producing a version which would be releasable to all. It is judged that the necessary removal of information that would prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces would result in a version with insufficient detail to warrant publication.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-01-10/59422/PolicyUK
12 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what amendments the Government proposed to drafts of the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonThe drafting of the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was led by the US Government. British officials worked throughout the process with their US and other international colleagues to shape the content.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-20/58533/MilitaryGlobal
12 January 2017To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on what dates the first multilateral discussions with other signatories of the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are planned.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and Wallington​The UK will participate in multilateral discussions with other signatories. At the present time, no date has been set for these discussions.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-20/58534/MilitaryGlobal
21 December 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Transport on 10 September 2015 (HC7971), what action the cross-government working group has taken to reduce the risks posed by drones to civil aviation; and whether they plan to consult on the introduction of new criminal offences relating to (1) causing a nuisance, (2) endangering persons on the ground, and (3) endangering aircraft, through use of a drone.Lord Blencathra
Conservative
We have been working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and industry to adapt and strengthen regulations and implement mitigations as drones use and the related technology evolves. This has led to a new safety awareness campaign aimed at leisure drone users. So far, this has included the launch of a new http://www.dronesafe.uk website, a #400ftBritain drone photography competition that highlights safety rules, and a free new app ‘Drone Assist’ by NATS, which shows users where they should and should not fly in their locality. There are already offences to deter and, if necessary, prosecute operators for malicious or negligent use, including a prison sentence of up to five years for endangering an aircraft.

The Government is today launching a consultation to determine if further measures are needed in this area.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-12-19/HL4203/CivilUK
21 December 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to remove restrictions on the acquisition of equipment by members of the public which is capable of disabling or destroying drones flying over their property.Lord Blencathra
Conservative
The Government recognises that an increase in the popularity of small drones, including those with cameras, raises a number of questions about privacy, safety, security, and data protection. Safety, security and privacy must always be the overriding priority and both commercial and leisure operators must operate drones responsibly within the rules.

The Government is today launching a consultation to determine if further measures are needed in this area.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-12-19/HL4202/CivilUK
15 December 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisons in each category are (a) fitted and (b) not fitted with netting on outdoor areas to restrict drone access; and what other anti-drone techniques are being trialled in prisons.Richard Burden, LabourA range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate. This includes the use of technology to detect and block drones, the enhancement of physical security and working with drone manufacturers.

Information on netting fitted by each prison and by purpose is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-12/57249/CivilUK
13 December 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents involving the use of drone technology have been recorded at each type of prison facility in each of the last three years.Richard Burden, LabourI refer the Hon Member to my answer to PQ 33806.

There were 2 reported incidents in 2014 and 33 reported incidents in 2015. The Ministry of Justice intends to routinely publish information on prison drone incidents in the future and 2016 data will be provided in due course.

We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate. We have already introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, making it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in contraband. Anyone found using a drone in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. We take a zero tolerance approach to smuggling of contraband into prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure those caught are prosecuted.

Note: All figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-08/56823/CivilUK
7 December 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 26 September (HL1779), whether they are planning to provide a mechanism for external stakeholder input into the defence policy review on remotely piloted air and wider highly automated systems.Lord Kennedy of Southwark, LabourThere is no formal mechanism for external input into this aspect of Defence policy, however officials are informally consulting academia, think tanks and industry as well as international partners, to broaden Defence understanding.
Earl Howe
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-11-28/HL3567/MilitaryUK
2 December 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on the issuing of compensation of ex gratia payments to civilians killed or injured by UK airstrikes.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
The Ministry of Defence normally pays compensation only where it accepts that it is or might be held legally liable for the harm in question. These payments are distinguished from ex gratia payments, which require the consent of HM Treasury. In the special circumstances of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan HM Treasury authorised the Department to make ex gratia payments in theatre in appropriate circumstances to nationals of those countries who had suffered harm or damage as a result of UK military activities: information on such payments was published annually. No such authorisations are currently in force, and any proposal to make ex gratia compensation payments to civilians killed or injured by UK airstrikes would require HM Treasury approval on an exceptional basis. There are currently no such proposals.
Mike Penning
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-24/54689/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
1 December 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) the British Airline Pilots' Association, (b) the Civil Aviation Authority, (c) the Metropolitan Police and (d) other relevant stakeholders on the near-miss incident between a drone and a passenger plane on 18 July 2016.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority work with a wide range of partners, including the British Airline Pilots' Association and the Police, to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up to date. Work is underway to better understand the risk posed by drones to commercial aircraft and ensure that the regulatory and industry responses remain fit for purpose.
John Hayes
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-24/54775/CivilUK
1 December 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2016 to Question 34680, what his Department's current involvement is with the European Aviation Safety Agency's development of EU-wide safety rules for drones.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
The Department for Transport has been participating in negotiations on the revision of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Basic Regulation, which will include EU-wide safety rules for all unmanned aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority participates in the EASA Expert Group of subject matter experts, and will assist with the development of the Implementing Rules that sit beneath the Basic Regulation.
John Hayes
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-24/54690/CivilUK
24 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, whether the Government plans to engage in discussions on international standards for the export and use of armed drones with other signatory countries.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonYes, we expect the UK to participate in multi-lateral discussions with other Signatories.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-17/53491/MilitaryGlobal
23 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to her oral contribution of 3 November 2016, Official Report, column 1071, what the (a) remit, (b) membership and (c) date of the last meeting is of the Government taskforce to address the issue of drone use and prisons.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate. We have already introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, making it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in contraband. We take a zero tolerance approach to smuggling of contraband into prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure those caught are prosecuted. Anyone found using a drone in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years imprisonment.

However, I want to do more, specifically by setting up a government taskforce to challenge industry to help in this crucial area with Ministerial colleagues in the Department for Transport, Home Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Ministry of Defence. We will work with drone manufacturers to challenge them to do more to stop the illegal use of drones in prisons.
Sam Gyimah
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-15/52984/CivilUK
23 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 15 June 2016 to Question 40015, if he will now place in the Library a redacted summary of the risk assessments commissioned by the Cross-Government Working Group on remotely piloted aircraft system on the use of drones for criminal purposes.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
A redacted summary of the risk assessments report has been placed in the Library.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-15/52972/CivilUK
22 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 July 2016 to Question 43260, what information he holds on the timetable for the joint policy on investigating civilian casualties to become operational.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonThe Coalition continues to consider the need for a joint policy on investigating civilian casualties, but nations continue to ensure that investigations are carried out in accordance with their respective national methodology. There is currently no timetable for the implementation of a joint policy.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-16/53339/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
22 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 July 2016 to Question 43260, what methodology the Government follows for investigating civilian casualties until the joint policy on investigating civilian casualties becomes operational.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonOperational commanders undertake a detailed assessment of every strike. If there were to be credible evidence from that assessment that a serious incident had taken place, a UK investigation would be initiated. Furthermore, we accept the submission by third parties of information about civilian casualties from any source and will assess that evidence in detail.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-16/53338/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
21 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 July 2016 to Question 43260, what progress has been made on the development of Coalition policy on investigating civilian casualties.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
While the Coalition continues to consider the need for a joint policy on investigating civilian casualties, the position remains as set out in my Answer of 26 July. The UK, as with other Coalition nations, will investigate allegations of civilian casualties according to its national methodology.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-15/52985/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
21 November 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what legislation covers the use of drones in the UK by (1) security forces, (2) other public bodies, (3) commercial and voluntary organisations, and (4) individuals; and what assessment they have made of the need for new legislation to regulate the use of drones.Lord Greaves
Liberal Democrat
The Government is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and industry to adapt and strengthen UK regulations as drone use and the related technology develops.

Small drones in the UK, those weighing 20kg or less, must be flown in accordance with Articles 94, 95 and 23 of the Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO). Drones of more than 20kg are subject to all relevant provisions of the ANO. The ANO covers the use of drones by public bodies, commercial and voluntary organisations, and individuals, as well as the police and other security services. The use of drones in UK airspace by UK Armed Forces is regulated by the Military Aviation Authority.

Drones of more than 150kg are also subject to European safety legislation, in particular, the European Aviation Safety Agency Basic Regulation 216/2008. This Regulation is currently being revised and updated.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-11-07/HL3022/Civil UseUK
21 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many drones carrying contraband goods have been seized within prison grounds in each of the last three years.Luciana Berger
Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree
We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate.

There were no reported incidents of drones carrying contraband being seized within prisons in 2013; in 2014 there were 2 reported incidents; and in 2015 there were 11 reported incidents. The Ministry of Justice intends to routinely publish information on prison drone incidents in the future. Data for 2016 onwards will be provided in due course as part of the normal publication schedule.

Note: All figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Sam Gyimah
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-16/53443/Civil UseUK
21 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 27 May 2016 to Question 38311, what the outcome was of the Government's consultation on measures to regulate the use of drones.Lucy Powell
Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central
Government believes we currently have a robust framework that balances penalties with commercial permissions. However, we recognise that this framework needs to keep pace with the emerging market. We continue to develop proposals which we will put forward in the near future.
John Hayes
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-15/52973/Civil UseUK
14 November 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions have they had with the government of Israel regarding Israel's regulations for operating drones in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.Baroness Tonge
Independent Liberal Democrat
We have not had any discussions with the Israeli authorities over the use of drones over the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns
Minister of State
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-10-31/HL2847/MilitaryIsrael
9 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Government's Response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights Second Report of Session 2015-16, what recent assessment his Department has made of the legal principles of (a) international and (b) domestic law that apply to the use of lethal force outside the scope of armed conflict.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe Government's assessment of the relevant legal principles remain as set out in its response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights Second Report of Session 2015-16 which was provided to the Committee on 7 September 2016.
Michael Fallon
Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-01/51425/LawGlobal
9 November 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Government's Response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights Second Report of Session 2015-16, what recent discussions his Department has had with their (a) US and (b) European counterparts on international law on the use of force and the law of armed conflict.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenWe have frequent discussions with US and European counterparts on international law on the use of force and the law of armed conflict.
Michael Fallon
Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-11-01/51426/LawGlobal
3 November 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to include provisions on the regulation of drones in the Modern Transport Bill; and if he will make a statement.
Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldWe have a robust regulatory framework for drones to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. We continue to work closely with the CAA and industry to adapt and strengthen these regulations as drone use and the technology evolves. The detailed content for the Modern Transport Bill is currently being considered.
John Hayes
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-31/51177/Civil UseUK
31 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether pilots who are in control of armed Reaper drones conducting operations overseas are (a) engaged in armed conflict and (b) regulated by the laws of war.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireWhether UK pilots in control of Reaper unmanned aerial system conducting operations overseas are engaged in an armed conflict depends on the type of operation the pilots are undertaking. UK military personnel who are using force on overseas operations will do so in accordance with the laws of war (also known as the Law of Armed Conflict/International Humanitarian Law).
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-24/49991/War Powers ConventionUK
31 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether armed Reaper drones engaged in operations overseas are part of the armed forces for the purposes of the Armed Forces Act 2006.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireReapers (whether armed or not) are remotely piloted aircraft and, as such, they cannot themselves be "armed forces" for the purposes of the Armed Forces Act 2006 but those who pilot them on operations overseas will be.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-24/49990/War Powers ConventionUK
31 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what advice he has received on whether armed Reaper drones on missions outside Syria and Iraq are covered by the convention that Parliament has an opportunity to debate the circumstances in which armed forces are committed to military operations.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireWhether the Convention applies would depend on the circumstances in which Reaper was to be used. Unmanned aerial systems are subject to the same operational accountability and oversight to that of manned aircraft, including the application of the War Powers Convention.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-24/49992/War Powers ConventionUK
28 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many meetings (a) Ministers of her Department and (b) officials of HM Prison Service have had with drone manufacturers in each quarter of each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldDetails of all ministerial meetings with external companies are published on gov.uk. Information on officials’ meetings is not held centrally.

We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. We have already introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, so that anyone found using a drone in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. We take a zero tolerance approach to smuggling of contraband into prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure those caught are prosecuted.

A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are continuously being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate.
Sam Gyimah
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-20/49618/Civil UseUK
26 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution by the Secretary of State for Defence, of 18 January 2016, Official Report, column 1118 on how many occasions the Government has considered evidence from (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) Airwars, (c) White Helmets and (d) other organisations working in Syria on the collection of data on civilian (i) casualties and (ii) injuries in Syria from 2016 to date; and on how many occasions the Government has considered such evidence as credible.Brendan O'Hara, SNP, Argyll and ButeThe Ministry of Defence (MOD) has reviewed four batches of information collated by Airwars in relation to possible civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq, where they wished to establish whether RAF aircraft might have been involved. There was no credible evidence that RAF aircraft were responsible in any of these incidents. MOD officials have also met Airwars to outline the process used by the UK to assess the outcome of RAF airstrikes.

All RAF airstrikes are subject to an assessment of their outcome. Whilst there can be no guarantees in a complex air campaign like this one, our airstrikes are planned meticulously with the objective of minimising the risk of causing civilian casualties.The MOD continues to be prepared to consider credible evidence on this issue from any source.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-19/49513/Civilian CasualtiesSyria
17 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 August 2016 to Question 43327, whether his Department has classified the international armed conflict with Daesh to be with or without territorial restriction.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireArmed conflict with Daesh is non-international in character and is territorially restricted.
Tobias Ellwood
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46801/LawGlobal
17 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to ensure future interoperability of the Boeing Poseidon P-8 platform with the General Atomics MQ9 Reaper platforms.Douglas Chapman, SNP, Dunfermline and West FifeThe P-8A Poseidon aircraft will form a vital part of the UK's maritime patrol capability, and interoperability with other platforms and systems is a key user requirement. Work to enable this is under way, however, I am withholding further detail as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Harriett Baldwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-10/47717/ProcurementUK
17 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any personnel from the UK Reaper squadrons have been deployed to (a) Sigonella air base and (b) Libya; and if he will make a statement.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireNo personnel from UK RAF Reaper Squadrons (Nos. 13 and 39) have been deployed to Sigonella Air Force Base (Sicily), or Libya.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46789/MilitaryLibya
17 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) the Prime Minister, (b) the Attorney General and (c) the Secretary of State for Defence on the implications for Government policies of the Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled unmanned Aerial Vehicles issued on 5 October 2016.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe Foreign Secretary has had no direct discussions with the Prime Minister, or Defence Secretary on this US-led initiative. It is longstanding government policy not to comment on consultations with the Attorney General. Both the Foreign Secretary, and the Rt Hon Earl Howe (as Defence Minister with responsibility for this area) agreed that the Joint Declaration by 45 nations on the export and subsequent use of armed or strike-enabled unmanned aerial vehicles was consistent with, a reiteration of, existing UK Government policy.
Alan Duncan
Minister of State
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-11/48069/PolicyGlobal
17 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the Proposed Joint Declaration of Principles for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Systems.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson) has had no direct discussions with his US counterpart on this US-led initiative. He was consulted by Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, who agreed with their US counterparts the 5 October Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike –Enabled Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Alan Duncan
Minister of State
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46790/PolicyGlobal
13 October 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had, or agreements they have made, with Amazon and other retailers about the use of drones for deliveries.Baroness Randerson, Lib DemThe Civil Aviation Authority have assessed an operational safety case submitted by Amazon and granted permission for the current trials to be undertaken. Discussions have taken place between Government and Amazon around their current trials and future plans for the UK. A non-disclosure agreement has been put in place with Amazon that sets out how confidential information relating to their UK drone delivery trials should be handled. No discussions have been had or agreements put in place with any other retailers about the use of drones for deliveries.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-10-03/HL2046/Civil UseUK
13 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2016 to Question 39787, if he will place a copy in the Library of the Joint Doctrine Publication 030.2, Unmanned Aircraft Systems; and if he will make a statement.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireTo ensure defence doctrine reflects UK Government policy, the drafting of Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2 "Unmanned Aircraft Systems" is being developed in parallel with the Defence policy review concerning both remotely piloted air and highly automated systems. Officials are currently consulting stakeholders and expect to conclude the review early in 2017 at which point we expect to publish the updated doctrine.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46805/PolicyUK
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK is a party to the Syrian Counter Terror Agreement made by the US and Russia on 9 September 2016; whether the UK plans to provide any assistance or reconnaissance intelligence for actions taken under that agreement; and whether British forces' operations in Iraq and Syria will be affected by that agreement.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonThe UK supported US efforts to reach agreement with Russia to reinstate a cessation of hostilities in Syria and will continue to work for the restoration of a credible cessation of Hostilities. The UK was not, however, a party to the US-Russia arrangement which was a purely bilateral one. While the UK would have considered seriously any requests received, we were not asked for either assistance or reconnaissance intelligence for its implementation.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-09-14/46450/MilitarySyria
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian casualties have resulted from the 26 brimstone missiles dropped by UK aircraft in Syria in 2016 to date.Brendan O'Hara, SNP, Argyll and ButeThe Ministry of Defence is not aware of any credible evidence to date of civilian casualties as a result of UK airstrikes over Syria and Iraq.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-09-14/46434/Civilian CasualtiesSyria
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made with the government of France on developing the scale and scope of the unmanned combat aerial vehicle programme agreed in January 2014.Nicholas Soames
Conservative, Mid Sussex
The two year £120 million UK/France Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) Feasibility Phase commenced in October 2014 and is due to be completed in January 2017. In Amiens in March 2016, we agreed with the French Government to extend the Feasibility Phase through 2017. As well as developing jointly our understanding of the required technologies for future combat air systems, this will further define the scope of the next phase of the UCAS programme which is due to begin in late 2017 and will develop two full-scale UCAS demonstrators by 2025.
Harriett Baldwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-09-15/46550/ProcurementUK
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2016, to Question 44003, whether the battle damage assessment regarding airstrikes in Libya carried out by US forces operating from RAF Lakenheath on 19 February 2016 was shared with the UK.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe US has, in confidence, shared the results of that strike with the UK. Clearly it would be inappropriate for us to release that detail or to comment on another State's operations.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46804/MilitaryLibya
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many drones have been intercepted operating over prisons in England and Wales (a) in 2015 and (b) from January 2016 to date.Jo Stevens, Labour, Cardiff CentralThere were 33 incidents relating to drones reported by prisons in 2015. This includes finds, interceptions and sightings of drones in and around prisons in England and Wales. The Ministry of Justice intends to routinely publish information on prison drone incidents in the future and 2016 data will be provided in due course as part of the publication schedule.

We remain vigilant to all incidents involving drones and take the threat they pose to prison security very seriously. A range of methods to counter the threat posed by drones are being trialled and evaluated for their effectiveness across the prison estate. We have already introduced new legislation to further strengthen our powers, making it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in contraband. Anyone found using a drone in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. We take a zero tolerance approach to smuggling of contraband into prisons and work closely with the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure those caught are prosecuted.

Note: All figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Sam Gyimah
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-10-07/46968/Civil UseUK
12 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 11 April 2016 to Question 32492, to which countries RAF Reaper or Watchkeeper drones have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties since 4 April 2016.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonFrom 4 April until 20 September 2016, UK Reapers have continued to be deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties in Iraq and Syria. Watchkeeper has not been deployed during the period in question.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-09-14/46487/MilitaryGlobal
10 October 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the Future Combat Air System.Nicholas Soames
Conservative, Mid Sussex
As set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), we are working in partnership with the UK defence industry and our closest allies to understand and develop the technologies that will be required for future combat air systems (FCAS). No decisions have yet been made as to what this system will consist of, nor the platforms and capabilities that it will include. We are focussing now on developing the core technologies that any such system will require. To do this we have developed and are implementing the FCAS technology initiative. This programme includes the development of an advanced unmanned combat air system (UCAS) demonstrator in partnership with France, bilateral projects with the United States (US) to mature other key technologies and a national programme to maintain the UK's position as a global leader in the combat air sector.

In Amiens in March 2016 we agreed to transition to the next phase of the UK/France UCAS programme in 2017 and to develop the full-scale demonstrators by 2025. In addition to the current projects we are in discussions with the US and other allies to understand areas of mutual interest for further collaborative work.
Harriett Baldwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-09-14/46409/ProcurementUK
5 September 2016To ask the Prime Minister, in what circumstances she will restrict the dissemination of written legal advice of the Attorney General to (a) the Cabinet and (b) the Government.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe provision of advice from the Attorney General will continue to be handled in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code.
Theresa May
Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-20/43531/LawUK
5 September 2016To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to the Oral Answer by the Prime Minister of 6 July 2016, Official Report, Column 881, what assessment she has made of the level of military action or the deployment of military equipment that would fall within the parameters referred to in that statement.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireI have nothing further to add.
Theresa May
Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-20/43530/MilitaryGlobal
5 September 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how he plans to ensure that the Royal Navy maintains its maritime unmanned air system capability from late 2017.Kevan Jones
Labour, North Durham
The Royal Navy recognises the potential benefits from the use of unmanned vehicles in both air and sea environments and continues to explore how such systems can further augment its capabilities, although no decisions on future systems have yet been taken.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-20/43696/NavyUK
4 August 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has classified the armed conflict with Daesh as international or non-international.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe United Kingdom is engaged in armed conflict against Daesh in Syria and Iraq which we have classified legally as non-international armed conflict, since Daesh is a non-State actor. We are however quite clear, as is the UN Security Council, that Daesh represent a threat to international peace and security.
Tobias Ellwood
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-19/43327/LawIraq and Syria
25 July 2016To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to the 2015-16 Annual Report of the Intelligence and Security Committee, for what reasons it was decided not to provide the Intelligence and Security Committee with evidence on the UK's role in US air strikes against (a) Junaid Hussain and (b) Mohammed Emwazi.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireI refer the hon. Member to paragraph 15 of the 2015-16 Annual Report of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
Theresa May
Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-19/43349/MilitarySyria
21 July 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF flights over Libya have taken place each month between January and June 2016; what the purpose was of such flights; and what the type of aircraft used was for those flights.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonPart of our support to the political process in Libya has included the provision of military advisers and RAF flights to transport them. I am withholding information on the details of these flights as disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Mike Penning
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-18/43265/MilitaryLibya
19 July 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraphs 5.36 to 5.38 of the Cabinet Manual, whether the convention that a debate in Parliament should be held before troops are committed in military action applies to (a) the lethal use of armed drones, (b) military training and advisory missions (i) related to force-protection and (ii) where there is a risk of UK personnel engaging in combat in self-defence, (c) the use of special forces in long-term combat missions and (d) the embedding of UK military personnel in foreign militaries; and if he will make a statement.Caroline Lucas
Green, Brighton, Pavilion
This Government is committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter, except where there was an emergency and such action would not be appropriate. The convention does not apply to British military personnel embedded in the armed forces of other nations.
Michael Fallon
Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-13/42596/MilitaryGlobal
13 July 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Ministerial colleagues and (b) US counterparts on cooperation and assistance on counter-drone technology.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldI have regular discussions with both Ministerial Colleagues and US counterparts on a range of issues, including counter-drone technologies.
Philip Dunne
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-08/42274/Civil UseUK
13 July 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of existing regulations on drones; and if he will make a statement.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Government’s primary responsibility is the safety and security of our citizens. That is why we apply one of the highest regulatory safety standards for commercial aviation in the world.

There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

The Department and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective. Further work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes to ensure that regulations remain fit for purpose.

Awareness and education on current restrictions are vitally important. The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-07-08/42271/Civil UseUK
28 June 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the Watchkeeper Programme to achieve Initial Operating Capability 2, previously expected to be achieved by April, and when they now expect Equipment Support Systems to be released to service.Lord Moonie
Labour
It is expected that the Watchkeeper programme will declare Initial Operating Capability 2 standard by July 2016. An initial set of release to service recommendations for the Watchkeeper system at Equipment Standard 2 should be provided by March 2017. This will provide sufficient clearance for the Army to fly the Watchkeeper system in that configuration and support delivery of Full Operating Capability by the target date of April 2017.
Earl Howe
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-06-15/HL728/Military Global
27 June 2016With respect, it is evident that the Government intend to use lethal force outside armed conflict for counter-terrorism purposes, despite the legal basis for that being unclear. Will the Government clarify the legal basis on the use of drones for targeted killing outside of armed conflict?Andrew Slaughter, Labour, Hammersmith We have been very clear that this is guided by international law. Where there is an identified, direct and immediate threat to the United Kingdom, and where we have no other means of dealing with it, we reserve the right to use force.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-06-27b.15.6&s=%22international+law%22#g15.10PolicyGlobal
27 June 2016Whether the Government plan to publish a policy on the use of drones for targeted killingAndrew Slaughter, Labour, Hammersmith With regard to targeting or other rules of engagement, the use of remotely piloted air systems is no different to that of any other aircraft. Therefore, there is no separate policy for their use in this respect.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-06-27b.15.6&s=%22international+law%22#g15.10PolicyGlobal
16 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has met representatives of AeroVironment to discuss the Blackwing miniature tube-launched drone.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireRepresentatives of the Department meet AeroVironment representatives on a regular basis to discuss current and potential future capabilities, and the Department is aware of the capabilities of the Blackwing Reconnaissance System. However, the Department has no capability requirement to procure an underwater launched Unmanned Aerial System at this stage, and, as such, there have not been any formal discussions with AeroVironment on a possible procurement of Blackwing.
Philip Dunne
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/39912/ProcurementUK
15 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 12 April 2016 to Question 32352, whether the memorandum of understanding between the Home Office, the Civil Aviation Authority and the police has been agreed.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldI can confirm that the memorandum of understanding between the Department for Transport, the Home Office, the Civil Aviation Authority and the police has been signed and is operational.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/40016/Civil UseUK
15 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to engage with the European Aviation Safety Authority task force assessing the risk of collision between drones and aircraft.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority have regular interaction with the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) on the development of drone safety regulations. This includes engagement on the EASA task force studying the risk of collision between drones and aircrafts, which we expect will be consulting more formally across Member States this summer.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/39997/Civil UseUK
15 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2016 to Question 34503, if he will release a summary or redacted version of risk assessments carried out by the Cross-Government Working Group on RPAS.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Cross-Government Working Group on RPAS commissioned a piece of work, led by the Ministry of Defence, to analyse the potential use of drones for criminal purposes including the potential use of drones for terrorist purposes. This work is ongoing and being kept under review. I will place a redacted summary of the work to date in the Libraries of both Houses before the Summer Recess.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/40015/Civil UseUK
13 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what timeline has been proposed for publication of the revised Joint Doctrinal Note on UK Unmanned Systems.David Davis
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
Joint Doctrine Publication (JDP) 0-30.2, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, (which will replace Joint Doctrine Note 2/11, The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems) was endorsed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Joint Doctrine and Concepts Board in November 2015 with an agreed timeline for the MOD Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre to produce it in mid-2016. On current plans JDP 0-30.2 is expected to be published in July 2016.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-07/39787/PolicyUK
13 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State, House of Lords Official Report, 27 April 2016, Column 1229, how many independent service police investigations have been carried out on allegations of civilian casualties during operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria in the last five years.David Davis
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
None
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/39927/Civilian CasualtiesIraq and Syria
13 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the evidence given by the Minister of State for Transport to the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee on 18 April 2016, what the (a) purpose, (b) membership and (c) date of the last meeting of the new forum the Government has established is.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe purpose of the forum is to provide a means to consult, and gather external stakeholder input, in order to inform and influence the development of future unmanned aircraft systems aviation policy, regulation and legislation at a national and international level. The aim is to develop a richer and deeper interaction with external stakeholders which commences early in the regulatory development process.

The forum met on the 11th May 2016, and was attended by the Civil Aviation Authority, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, the British Model Flying Association, ADS Group, the Military Aviation Authority, the Department for Transport, Sussex Police, the Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, the Airport Operators Association, First Person View, the British Airline Pilots Association, BSI Group, with apologies from NATS.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-08/39940/Civil UseUK
13 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any RAF personnel have carried out airstrikes outside the coalition mission in the Iraq and Syria conflict zone since 2 December 2015.David Davis
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
RAF personnel have not carried out airstrikes outside the coalition mission in the Iraq and Syria conflict zone since 2 December 2015.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-07/39785/MilitaryIraq and Syria
13 June 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has demonstrated the capability of Certified Predator B for the duration of the Protector programme.
David Davis
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
Following an extensive Assessment Phase, the Department has concluded that the GA-ASI Certified Predator B is the only platform capable of meeting the Protector Programme's Key User Requirements. Certified Predator B is a modification of the highly successful Predator B platform which incorporates a number of safety and capability enhancements.

The Demonstration Phase of the Programme, which will follow approval of the Programme's Main Gate Business Case, will subject Certified Predator B to a comprehensive Test and Evaluation Plan to demonstrate the system's ability to meet the Department's requirements for the capability through its expected in-service life.
Philip Dunne
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-06-07/39786/ProcurementUK
8 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State, House of Lords Official Report, 27 April 2016, Column 1229, how many independent service police investigations have been carried out on allegations of civilian casualties during operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria in the last five years.David Davis
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
None.https://www.parliament.uk/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/commons/2016-06-08/39927Civcas Iraq & Syria
9 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to assess the potential merits of its proposals on drones to be included in the planned Modern Transport Bill; and what assessment he has made of the need for temporary measures to ensure public safety related to drones until such proposals have been enacted.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThere are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. There are severe penalties in place for misuse of drones, such as up to five years imprisonment for endangering an aircraft.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date. Further work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes to ensure that regulations remain fit for purpose.

Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK. The Secretary of State has recently written to Police to request their assistance in raising awareness of drone risks and restrictions.

Communication and education of users on current safety restrictions will be key. Officials from my Department are actively considering with the CAA the development of an expanded and diversified communication and education campaign, to include more mediums and supporting products.

The Government is planning to consult on a range of measures on drones over the summer, and will then seek any further appropriate legislative measures through the Modern Transport Bill.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-26/38744/Civil UseUK
6 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the potential use and effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicle technology in supporting the UK's international development agenda.Matthew Offord
Conservative, Hendon
It is in the interest of the UK taxpayer, as well as beneficiaries on the ground, ‎that the Department for International Development scrutinises the most cost-effective means of delivering aid, especially when responding to crises. In some cases technology can provide valuable advantages in terms of efficiency and cost effectiveness, as well as enabling the ability to respond rapidly to crises and assist those in the hardest to reach places.

The Department has recently commissioned a review of the potential of a number of Frontier Technologies including Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology, which will help us identify potential applications as well as risks.

There are a small number of examples of UAV technologies currently being trialled in DFID programmes. This includes a small-scale trial of UAV mapping to inform disaster preparedness, mitigation and response efforts in Nepal. There is also research being conducted in the natural and physical sciences arena, including on climate extremes which have an impact on vulnerable populations in developing countries.
Nick Hurd
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-26/38662/Overseas aidGlobal
1 June 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 May 2016 to Question 37106, whether the potential use of RAF aircraft to deliver airstrikes on Daesh targets in Libya has been discussed with the UK's international partners.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonWe are working closely with the new Government of National Accord and international partners to develop a comprehensive approach to defeat Daesh in Libya. Planning so far has focused on training Libyan forces to provide their own security.
Tobias Ellwood
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-24/38343/MilitaryLibya
31 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the proposed redevelopment of USAF Croughton by the US has been confirmed to him.Fabian Hamilton, Labour, Leeds North EastI refer the hon. Member to the Written Statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State (Michael Fallon) on 8 January 2015.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-24/38280/UK basesUK
31 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian deaths have been recorded from UK airstrikes in Syria since the UK military campaign started.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThere has been no credible evidence or report of civilian casualties as a result of UK airstrikes in Syria since the UK military campaign started.
Michael Fallon
Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-24/38178/Civilian CasualtiesIraq and Syria
27 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on the regulation of drones to protect the public from their misuse.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldI refer the Honourable Member to my answer given on 9 May 2016 UIN 36085 regarding the regulations addressing the criminal use of drones, and to my answer given on 9 May 2016 UIN 36086 regarding privacy.

The Government is planning to consult on a range of measures on drones over the summer, and will then seek any further appropriate legislative measures through the Modern Transport Bill.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-24/38311/Civil UseUK
24 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many British military personnel have been embedded with US military personnel flying drones or planes over Libya in the last six months.Tim Farron, Lib DemNone
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-05-19/37708/Embedded PersonnelLibya
10 May 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to protect the identity of RAF unmanned aerial vehicle operators.Lord Blencathra ConservativeReaper Force personnel are briefed in line with their specific situation and, as with all RAF personnel, they receive periodic training on personal security. This includes, for example, briefing on social media profiles. Mechanisms exist to ensure that specific threats, and the necessary responses to them, are communicated in a timely fashion.
Earl Howe
Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-05-05/HL8224/Military PersonnelUK
9 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what regulations are (a) in place and (b) under consideration to ensure appropriate management and use of data collected from drones.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldPersonal data collected from drones is covered under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Information Commissioners Office has published guidance for drone operators on their website this can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/drones/.

Issues concerning data protection are under consideration for our forthcoming consultation.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-28/36086/Civil UseUK
9 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what regulations address the criminal use of drones; and what plans the Government has to bring forward further regulations related to such activity.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThere are a range of laws in place to regulate the use of drones, prevent criminal use, and enable enforcement action to be taken when needed.

The Air Navigation Order 2009 (ANO) regulates the use of all aircraft, including drones, and provides for a range of offences to guard against criminal use. For example the offences of endangering the safety of an aircraft, and endangering the safety of any person or property, apply to the users of all drones. There are also offences specific to users of small drones, and those using drones for aerial works. Please see at the end of the answer below for a list of these provisions.

The Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations 2005 deal with insurance requirements for drones, and contain offences to enforce these.

Offences relating to personal data are provided for in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Other legislation which is not aviation or transport specific may also be relevant to addressing criminal use of drones.

On future regulation, a proposed new EU Regulation on aviation safety is currently being negotiated with the European Aviation Safety Agency and other EU Member States. This will apply to all drones.

While the Government considers that there are comprehensive rules in place to guard against criminal use of drones, we continue to keep under careful review whether there is any need for further legislation in this area.

Provisions in ANO which are enforced by offences listed in Schedule 13 ANO

a) Relevant to all drones:

Article 137 - endangering safety of an aircraft
Article 138 - endangering safety of any person or property
b) Relevant to drones above 20kg (those over 150kg have additional requirements to meet):

Article 3 - registration (unless comply with B Conditions - see Schedule 2 ANO)
Article 16 - certificate of airworthiness (unless comply with B Conditions)
Article 21 - issue of national permits to fly
Article 31 - dropping articles for purposes of agriculture etc
Article 129 - dropping of articles and animals
c) Relevant to drones up to 20kg:

Article 166 - requirements for small unmanned aircraft
Applying to person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft of 20kg or less (without fuel but including equipment):

article 166(1) - Causing or permitting an article or animal to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.
article 166(2) - Flying without being reasonably satisfied that the flight can be safely made.
article 166(3) - Failing to maintain direct, unaided visual contact sufficient to monitor flight path.
article 166(5) - Flying for the purposes of aerial work without permission.
Applying to person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft 7kg – 20kg (without fuel but including equipment):

article 166(4)(a) - Flying in Class A, C, D or E airspace without the permission of the appropriate Air Traffic Control unit,
article 166(4)(b) - Flying within an Air Traffic Zone during the notified hours of watch without permission,
article 166(4)(c) - Flying at a height of more than 400ft above the surface unless within 166(4)(a) or (b).
Article 167 - requirements for small unmanned surveillance aircraft.
Applying to person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft of 20kg or less (without fuel but including equipment):

article 167(1) - Flight over or within 150m of a congested area,
article 167(1) & (2)(b) - Flight over or within 150m of an organised open-air assembly or more than 1,000 persons without permission,
article 167(1) & (2)(c) - Flight within 50m of any vessel, vehicle or structure or person (not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft) without permission,
article 167(3) - Taking off within 30m of a person (not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft).
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-28/36085/Civil UseUK
9 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the remit of the Cross-Government Working Group on drones is; when it has met; and who has attended each meeting of that group.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldI refer the Honourable Member to my answer give on 25 January UIN 23389

(http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=23389).

Noting that the first meeting in 2016 took place in March not February and the below additions to the membership of the group:

Department for International Development
Surveillance Commissioner
UK Fire Service
Police
Border Force
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)`
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-28/36083/Civil UseUK
6 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, at which military bases unauthorised entries were reported in each year from 2014.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe figures for unauthorised entries to military bases include drones and air balloon flying at low altitude over military sites but do not include failed attempts at authorised access. None of these incidents resulted in any significant ramifications for Defence security.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) treats all unauthorised entries very seriously. They are investigated to a level commensurate with their complexity and impact by Military Police, MOD Police or local constabulary.

The locations of security incidents of this category recorded within the Ministry of Defence for 2014 are set out below.

Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth
HMNB Clyde
Royal Marine (RM) Stonehouse
Army Reserve Centre, Bristol
Army Reserve Centre, Blackburn
Army Careers Centre, Glasgow
RAF Halton
RAF Kirton on Lindsay
RAF Wyton
RAF Linton on Ouse
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Scampton
RAF Benson
RAF Honington
RAF Mona
RAF Leeming
DSTL Porton Down Range Area

With regard to the locations of security incidents of this category within the MOD for 2015 I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave on 9 February 2016 to question number 25082.
Mark Lancaster
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-13/33821/Military BasesUK
4 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of active service on the mental health of (a) drone operators and (b) conventional pilots.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe Government is committed to improving the mental health of our Armed Forces and has long recognised that Service life can cause stress. Support to all personnel (including pilots of Remotely Piloted Air Systems) is continually improving. We provide pre- and post-operational stress management training; a wide range of psychiatric and psychological treatments; and initiatives such as Decompression, Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), and post operational stress management. Measures are in place to increase awareness at all levels of the risk of mental health disorders and indicators to help identify these.
Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-25/35223/MilitaryUK
4 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many hours UK drones have flown over which countries in each year since 2010.Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireSince 2010, the UK's Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) have operated in Afghanistan until 2014 and in Iraq and Syria from 2014.

The number of hours flown by RPAS in Afghanistan can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/operation-herrick-afghanistan-aircraft-statistics

Since 2014, Reaper has been flying in support of Op SHADER in Iraq and Syria. It is not possible to breakdown Reaper flying hours by country for Op SHADER. The table below provides the total number of hours flown:

Year
Total Reaper flying hours flown in support of Op Shader
2014
1,653
2015
12,698
2016 (up to and including 31 March 2016)
2,509
Total
16,860
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-25/35222/MilitaryGlobal
4 May 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to further restrict the use of drones to ensure (a) the safety of aircraft and (b) privacy of members of the public.Greg Knight, Conservative, East YorkshireThere are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit their craft to endanger any person or property. There are also tough existing penalties, including up to five years imprisonment for endangering an aircraft. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK. The Secretary of State has written to the Police to request their assistance in raising awareness of drone risks and restrictions.

The Department continues to work with the CAA and industry partners to assess the safety risk of drones. It is also currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones. A public consultation is planned for the summer. This will look at a range of options including registration and licensing options, and the potential for restrictions on purchase and use.

Operators of drones that might collect personal data must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) unless a relevant exemption applies. The requirements of the DPA are regulated by the independent Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and their website provides clear guidance to operators.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-26/35553/Civil UseUK
27 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any MOD personnel have been seconded to positions in Yemen since 2012David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenThere are currently no Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel in Yemen. No MOD personnel have been seconded to the Yemeni government since 2012
27 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure that all police officers are aware of restrictions around the use of drones in public areas and where permits are necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will ensure that the results of the police investigation into the drone collision at Heathrow airport on 17 April 2016 are published.
Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Aircraft Accident investigation Bureau investigation into the collision will be made public. However, the separate, ongoing criminal investigation, and any decision to release the results of the investigation, is an operational matter for the Metropolitan Police, as the investigatory authority.

Guidance has been circulated to Police Forces to assist them when dealing with incidents involving misuse. A decision on whether to investigate and prosecute is made on an assessment of threat, risk and harm.

John Hayes, Minister of State, Home Office
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-18/34359/Civil UseUK
27 April 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for the control of drones flying in UK air space.Lord LairdThere are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones. We have also completed a series of public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options, and the potential for restrictions on purchase and use.

Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign, the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-04-18/HL7745/Civil UseUK
27 April 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the need to regulate or license the private drone market in the UK.The Bishop of BristolCommercial drone operations already require permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Operators must satisfy the CAA that they can operate safely and are aware of all relevant legislation. Last year the CAA granted approximately 1100 permissions for light-weight, low risk operations. There are charges for new permissions and processing renewals.

There are also existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones. We have also completed a series of public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options, and the potential for restrictions on purchase and use.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-04-18/HL7729/Civil UseUK
27 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the contribution of the Minister of State of 10 March 2016, Official Report, column 419, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing temporary measures to ensure public safety when drones are used while his Department considers the best action to take.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThere are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. There are severe penalties in place for misuse of drones, such as up to five years imprisonment for endangering an aircraft.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective. Further work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes to ensure that regulations remain fit for purpose.

The DfT is also currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones, including potential technical solutions, such as geo-fencing and frequency jammers around airports.

Communication and education of users on current safety restrictions will be key. Officials from my Department are actively considering with the CAA the development of an expanded and diversified communication and education campaign, to include more mediums and supporting products, such as smart phone applications. The CAA is running ‘small UAS’ (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.

Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK. The Secretary of State has written to Police to request their assistance in raising awareness of drone risks and restrictions.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-19/34680/Civil UseUK
26 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted for an offence relating to a use of a drone; and what the average sentence is for such an offence.Andrew Slaughter, Labour, Hammersmith The number of offenders found guilty of offences relating to flying a drone, under S 160 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, in England and Wales, in 2014, is two. Each offender was sentenced to a fine.

Please note that this figure relates to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Incidents involving drones are rare, but we remain constantly vigilant to all new threats to prison security. This Government has made it a criminal offence to throw, or otherwise project, any article of substance into prison without authorisation. Anyone using drones in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years. We take a zero tolerance approach to illicit material in prisons and work closely with the police and CPS to ensure those responsible for a drone incident are caught and, if appropriate, prosecuted.
Dominic Raab
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-18/34438/Civil UseUK
26 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of regulations relating to drones and public safety.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Government’s primary responsibility is the safety and security of our citizens. That is why we apply one of the highest regulatory safety standards for commercial aviation in the world.

There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

The Department and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective. Further work is underway to better understand the risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes to ensure that regulations remain fit for purpose.

The Cross Government Working Group on RPAS has undertaken analysis of the use of drones for criminal purposes, including the potential use of drones for terrorist purposes, and the impacts of their negligent use near sensitive locations, such as airports. This work is kept under review and is being used to inform research and testing to improve mitigation techniques and strategies.

Awareness and education on current restrictions are vitally important. The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-18/34503/Civil UseUK
26 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his consultation on drones expected to be published before summer will include options on the classification of drones generally; and whether he has assessed existing weight categories as appropriate.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is developing new rules for all drones that are proportionate to the risk of their specific operation rather than based on weight categories.

The Government will seek to ensure that UK regulation is consistent with this approach. EASA has conducted a consultation and impact assessment on the approach and therefore we do not currently intend to consult further on these measures.
Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-18/34351/Civil UseUK
25 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to allocate additional resources to police forces to combat the risks posed by drones to aircraft.Ruth Cadbury, Labour, Brentford and IsleworthOverall police spending will be protected in real terms over the Spending Review period, when the locally funded police precept element of council tax is taken into account. This is an increase of up to £900 million in cash terms by 2019/20. Overall, the public should be in no doubt that the police will have the resources they need to respond to new threats rapidly and effectively to keep people safe.
Mike Penning, Minister of State, Home Department
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-19/34549/Civil UseUK
21 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to publish its consultation on drone regulation.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham Northfieldhttps://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-04-18.34480.h&s=unmannedCivil UseUK
21 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that all drone owners are aware of restrictions on their use and the risks they pose.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldDecisions on the how the funding is allocated to priorities within forces are for individual Chief Officers and Police and Crime Commissioners.https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-04-18.34360.h&s=unmannedCivil UseUK
21 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to protect aircraft operating out of UK airports from the safety risks posed by drones.
Ruth Cadbury, Labour, Brentford and IsleworthThe Government’s primary responsibility is the safety and security of our citizens. That is why we apply one of the highest regulatory safety standards for commercial aviation in the world.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.

There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. The Department and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines) to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective. We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to develop potential technical solutions to the problems around airports, these include mandated geo-fencing and frequency jammers.

The Cross Government Working Group on RPAS has undertaken analysis of the use of drones for criminal purposes, including the potential use of drones for terrorist purposes, and the impacts of their negligent use near sensitive locations, such as airports. This work is kept under review and is being used to inform research and testing to improve mitigation techniques and strategies.

Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK. The Secretary of State will be writing to the police to request their assistance in raising awareness of drone risks and restrictions. Robert Goodwill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-04-18.34296.h&s=unmannedCivil UseUK
18 April 2016My Lords, the future of the new runway is of course important, but what, in the mean time, will my noble friend do about the drones which are so much in the news recently?Lord Trefgarne, ConservativeMy noble friend is quite right to raise the issue of drones. Indeed, there was an incident only yesterday at Heathrow, which has been fully investigated. The pilots have given their full reports, and the details have been reported by the media. Let me assure my noble friend that there already are stringent procedures regarding the use of drones, but the Government are also working very closely with international and domestic partners, including the CAA and BALPA. We are also working closely with our European partners—including leading on EASA’s work in this regard—as to what more can be done in what clearly is an area of expansion.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2016-04-18b.435.0#g436.1Civil UseUK
18 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents involving the use of drone technology have been recorded at each type of prison facility in each of the last three years.Andrew Slaughter, Labour HammersmithI refer the Hon Member to my answer to PQ 20357.

Incidents involving drones are rare, but we remain constantly vigilant to all new threats to prison security. This Government has made it a criminal offence to throw, or otherwise project, any article of substance into prison without authorisation. Anyone using drones in an attempt to get contraband into prisons can be punished with a sentence of up to two years. We take a zero tolerance approach to illicit material in prisons and work closely with the police and CPS to ensure those responsible for a drone incident are caught and, if appropriate, prosecuted.

There were no reported drone incidents in 2013; 2 reported incidents in 2014; and 33 reported incidents in 2015.

These figures include drone finds and sightings of drones by prison staff in and around all types of public and private prisons in England and Wales.

These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Andrew Selous, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-13/33806/Civil UseUK
18 April 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will establish a compulsory register for drone ownership following similar action by the Federal Aviation Administration in the US; and if not, why not.Lord Sharkey, Lib DemWe are exploring a range of options for monitoring and enforcing regulations on drone use in the UK. This includes the potential for types of registration schemes, such as are implemented in the US and Ireland. The Department for Transport is in contact with both these authorities, as part of our work into understanding the benefits of such schemes, in terms of transparency of ownership and enforcement, as against their costs to business and other users. HM Government intends to consult on options this year.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-04-11/HL7467/Civil UseUK
13 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has (a) sought and (b) received permission for the use of (i) Italian or (ii) US facilities at Sigonella by RAF aircraft for operations in Libyan airspace.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyWe have had a long-standing presence at Naval Air Station Sigonella, and have made frequent use of it. However, it is not normal practice to comment on the details of arrangements with host nations.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-04-08/32965/MilitaryLibya
12 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2016 to Question 25277, when he expects the memorandum of understanding to be agreed.Virendra Sharma,
Labour, Ealing, Southall
The outcome of this risk assessment will be used to inform further research into and development of appropriate risk mitigation measures.

As stated in my previous answer this work is ongoing and is kept under constant review.
Robert Goodwill,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-23/32352/Civil UseUK
12 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2016 to Question 25276, on unmanned air vehicles: safety, when he expects his Department to complete the detailed analysis of risks posed by drones.Virendra Sharma,
Labour, Ealing, Southall
The outcome of this risk assessment will be used to inform further research into and development of appropriate risk mitigation measures.

As stated in my previous answer this work is ongoing and is kept under constant review.
Robert Goodwill,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-23/32353/Civil UseUK
11 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2016 to Question 25292, to which countries RAF Reaper or Watchkeeper drones have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties since 5 February 2016.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and Finsbury
From 5 February until 4 April 2016, UK Reapers have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Iraq and Syria.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-24/32492/MilitaryIraq and Syria
11 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place a copy of his Department's (a) civilian casualty review procedure and (b) standard operating procedure in the Library.David Davis,
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
I am withholding publication of the UK Armed Forces' Incident Reporting Standing Operating Procedure, which contains the civilian casualty review process, as disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of our Armed Forces.

The UK takes all allegations of civilian casualties very seriously. Robust processes are in place to review reports of civilian casualties and to launch investigations where required.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32193/Civilian CasualtiesUK
11 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question 23886, whether asset-sharing in Syria, Iraq or Libya was considered at the meeting of the Reaper User Group that took place on 14 to 18 March.David Davis,
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
The MQ-9 Users Group primarily discussed generic, future interoperability between US, UK, French and Italian Reaper operators, particularly in terms of software standards, logistics and training. The sharing of assets in Syria, Iraq and Libya was therefore not discussed explicitly.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32178/MilitaryIraq, Syria, Libya
11 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2016 to Question 30084, if he will make the Attorney General's advice available for inspection by the (a) Chief of the Air Staff (b) Deputy Commander of Operations and (c) Staff Branch Air Command responsible for authorisation of the drone strike which killed Reyaad Khan on 21 August 2015.David Davis,
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
No. Military action is authorised in accordance with the Rules of Engagement which I approve in accordance with the legal position.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32179/LegalitySyria
11 April 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question 23886, whether asset-sharing in Syria, Iraq or Libya was considered at the meeting of the Reaper User Group that took place on 14 to 18 March.David Davis,
Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
The MQ-9 Users Group primarily discussed generic, future interoperability between US, UK, French and Italian Reaper operators, particularly in terms of software standards, logistics and training. The sharing of assets in Syria, Iraq and Libya was therefore not discussed explicitly.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32178/International Co-OperationGlobal
31 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of deploying ocean-going drones to help catch illegal trawlers in Marine Conservation Zones in place of staffed patrol vessels.Alex Cunningham, Labour, Stockton North
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the ten Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities are responsible for enforcing fisheries legislation in UK waters off England. The MMO is considering carefully the potential for new technology to aid enforcement operations, and will continue to keep such technology under review.
George Eustice,
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32113/Law enforcementGlobal
29 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Answer of 22 February 2016 to Question 26843, if he will publish the terms of reference for the Reaper User Group.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe MQ-9 Users Group is a multilateral forum for France, Italy, the UK and US. As such, the release of the Group's Terms of Reference can only be approved if all four participating nations agree. To that end, the request for their release was highlighted at the MQ-9 User Group and individual nations will report back as soon as is practicable.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32105/International Co-OperationGlobal
29 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question 23886, which UK representatives attended the meeting of the Reaper User Group between 14 and 18 March 2016.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenUK attendance at the MQ-9 User Group was limited to representatives from the Royal Air Force, led by the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance Force Commander.
Penny Mordaunt,
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-22/32106/International Co-OperationGlobal
22 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the risk of civilian drones being used to carry out terrorist attacks and of accidental collisions, whether they are considering (1) introducing a mandatory registration system for civilian drones, and (2) introducing mandatory geo-fencing technology to prevent drones from flying over high-risk areas.Baroness Randerson, Lib DemI refer my Noble Baroness to my answer of the 16 March, UIN HL6659.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-03-16/HL7104/Civil UseUK
22 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the report of the Cross Government Working Group on Drones to be completed, and whether they intend to publish that report.Baroness Randerson, Lib DemThe Cross Government Working Group on Drones is an ongoing policy group that meets quarterly to discuss a range of cross-cutting departmental issues relating to drones. It does not routinely produce reports.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-03-15/HL7049/Civil UseUK
21 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment of the merits of the Protector drone and other current and projected UK capability requirements was made to underpin the recent £1.5 billion UK-France collaboration on a joint unmanned combat air vehicle.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenAs part of last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of our future capability requirements including for combat air. Within this, we looked at what could be provided by current and planned capabilities including Protector. The next phase of our collaboration on Unmanned Combat Air Systems with France will mature advanced technologies to inform future acquisition choices.

As part of last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of our future capability requirements including for combat air. Within this, we looked at what could be provided by current and planned capabilities including Protector. The next phase of our collaboration on Unmanned Combat Air Systems with France is looking at capability need beyond Protector and so will mature advanced technologies to develop operational demonstrators.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-15/31168/ProcurementUK
21 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many drone strikes have taken place against Daesh targets in (a) Iraq and (b) Syria since September 2014.Julie Cooper, Labour, BurnleyBetween 1 September 2014 and 15 March 2016 there have been 200 Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) strikes in Iraq and 13 in Syria against Daesh targets.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-14/30887/StrikesIraq and Syria
21 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has established a civilian casualties tracking cell to investigate reports of alleged incidents involving RAF aeroplanes in Syria and Iraq.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonAs you know, I am committed to review all claims of civilian casualties, which we take very seriously. The Ministry of Defence has robust processes in place to review reports of alleged incidents. An assessment is carried out after every British strike; we determine the scale of the damage that has been caused and review very carefully whether there are likely to have been civilian casualties. Investigations are launched where appropriate.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-15/31187/Civilian CasualtiesIraq and Syria
16 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the risks posed to the UK by terrorists using drones, and the recent comments by the British Airline Pilots Association and others regarding the risks posed by drones, what consideration they have given to (1) the introduction of a system of mandatory drone registration in the UK, (2) the introduction of mandatory geo-fencing by all drone manufacturers, and (3) the possible banning of private ownership of drones exceeding a certain payload capacity.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they will take to reduce the risk posed by civilian drones to aircraft.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Cross Government Working Group on Drones has conducted an assessment of the risks posed (1) by terrorists using drones, and (2) by drones to aircraft.
Lord West of Spithead, LabourThe Department for Transport (DfT) is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.

The Department and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and airlines), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective.

This collaboration is also considering the need for other potential drone policies, such as geo-fencing. There are a number of drone models already sold in the UK with types of this technology installed and we are assessing the potential for solutions that could restrict drone operations around airports and other key infrastructure.

We are also in contact with other governments about the potential costs and benefits of registration systems, and, in particular, whether this improves the transparency of ownership.

The Cross Government Working Group has undertaken analysis of the use of drones for criminal purposes, including the potential use of drones for terrorist purposes, and the impacts of their negligent use near sensitive locations, such as airports. This work is kept under review and is being used to inform research and testing to improve mitigation techniques and strategies.

Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign and the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-03-02/HL6659/Civil UseUK
15 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Cross Government Working Group on Drones will examine the feasibility of introducing a system of registration for drones, including an element of mandatory training and evaluation for the larger classes.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordI refer the Honourable member to my answer give on 4 March, UIN 29244, http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=29244.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-10/30774/Civil UseUK
15 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects the Cross Government Working Group on Drones to finish its work; and when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordThe Cross Government Working Group on Drones is an ongoing policy group that meets quarterly to discuss a range of cross-cutting departmental issues relating to drones.

My department is working with the European Aviation Safety Agency on the development of new European rules for drones. The Civil Aviation Authority are planning to consult on these proposals in the summer, with a view to making amendments to the Air Navigation Order in 2017.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-10/30772/Civil UseUK
15 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if the Cross Government Working Group on Drones will conduct a detailed examination of the security threats posed by drones as part of its work.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordThe Cross Government Working Group is undertaking analysis of the potential use of drones for criminal and terrorist purposes, and the impacts of their negligent use near sensitive locations, such as airports.

Guidance on tackling the risks of criminal drone use has been provided to constabularies across the UK.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-10/30773/Civil UseUK
14 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian casualties have resulted from direct UK military action in each theatre of operation in each of the last 12 months.Stephen Doughty, Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and PenarthDefence records show there have been no civilian casualities as a result of UK military action in any operational theatre in the last 12 months.

We take very seriously our responsibility to protect innocent civilian life when planning UK military operations. Our targeting procedures are rigorous, and we take every possible precaution to ensure that no civilian lives are lost when conducting strike missions.

If we had any reason to believe - either from our own analysis or from other reports - that there might have been civilian casualties, a full investigation would be conducted.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-09/30452/Civilian CasualtiesGlobal
11 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK was party to the US collateral damage assessment relating to airstrikes in Libya carried out by US forces operating from RAF Lakenheath; and whether that collateral damage assessment conformed to UK Rules of Engagement and the Targeting Directive.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonI only grant permission to use UK bases to launch an airstrike after the Ministry of Defence has verified the legality of the operation and where we have assurances that collateral damage would be minimised.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-08/30188/Air BasesUK/US
11 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any temporal or other limitations have been placed on his authorisation of the use by the US of RAF Lakenheath as a base for carrying out airstrikes in Libya.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonMy authorisation for the US to use UK bases to launch the airstrike against a Daesh training camp in Libya on 19 February 2016 was granted for that specific operation and for a limited period of time.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-08/30189/Air BasesUK/US
11 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he consulted (a) the National Security Council, (b) the Attorney General, (c) the Foreign Secretary and (d) other Cabinet colleagues on the decision to authorise the US to use RAF Lakenheath to launch airstrikes in Libya; and whether any of those bodies or people were required to give approval for that authorisation.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonI am responsible for authorising the use of UK bases for operations of this nature. There is a long standing convention that whether the Attorney General has or has not advised on a matter it is not disclosed.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-08/30190/Air BasesUK/US
10 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Prime Minister's statement of 7 September 2015, Official Report, column 23, what rank of officer within the RAF chain of command had access to the Attorney General's advice on the legal basis for the Reyaad Khan drone strike.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenThe Attorney General's advice informed my decision to target Reyaad Khan. The strike was conducted by the RAF using rules of engagement informed by the Attorney General's advice.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-07/30084/LegalitySyria
10 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in how many operations the UK Reaper force has transferred operational control of UK Reapers to (a) the US Air Force and (b) embedded RAF personnel in the US Air Force in Syria and Iraq since 2 December 2015.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenI refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 November 2015 to Question 16741. It remains the case that provisions set out in the UK-US Memorandum of Understanding have not yet been enacted by either party.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-07/30085/InteroperabilityUK/US
10 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will expedite the work of the cross-governmental working group on drones; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to mitigate the safety risks posed by civilian drones.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldGovernment’s primary responsibility is the safety and security of our citizens. That is why we apply the highest regulatory safety standards for commercial aviation in the world.

There is legislation in place that requires users of small drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle, and that requires users to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit their vehicle to endanger any person or property.

It is already illegal to operate a drone recklessly or negligently, and the Crown Prosecution Service has successfully prosecuted where there has been persistent reckless behaviour.

Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign and the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale.

We will continue to keep our policies and regulation under review to ensure public safety remains paramount. This currently includes working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-02/29436/CivilUK
10 March 2016The UK Airprox Board investigated 23 near misses between aircraft and drones in six months last year. Of those, 12 were deemed to involve a serious risk of collision. The British Airline Pilots Association wants the Government to run tests on what would happen if a drone were sucked into an engine or hit a windscreen, and the Government have had a working group on the matter since 2013. So why is it only this summer that Ministers will say anything? Should we not know by now what tests have already been done, what regulatory and other options are being considered and when Ministers expect any agreed option to be put into practice?Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldI assure the House that we take that matter very seriously indeed, and we are aware of the risk of a collision with a drone. Yesterday, I met representatives of the British Airline Pilots Association, and that was one of the topics that came up. As the Secretary of State said in answer to an earlier question, severe penalties are in place for people who get involved with such activities. There are a number of technologies, such as geo-fencing, which would prevent those aircraft from entering sensitive airspace. We take the matter very seriously, and we are considering the best action to take.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160310/debtext/160310-0001.htm#160310-0001.htm_spnew95CivilUK
10 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the contract for the new Predator ER is predicated on aviation authorities giving clearance for that aircraft to fly in UK and European air space; and if he will make a statement.Madeleine Moon, Labour, BridgendThe Department is currently working towards a main investment decision on the PROTECTOR remotely-piloted aircraft announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, rather than contracting for a new Predator Extended Range (ER) programme. As part of this work, the Department is considering the issues and options relating to clearance to fly in UK and European airspace.
Philip Dunne. Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-02/29385/MilitaryUK
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will introduce mandatory geo-fencing technology for civilian drones.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldThe UK Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are talking to manufacturers about implementing geo-fencing technology on their drone systems. There are a number of drones already sold in the UK with this technology installed. My department is talking to a range stakeholders, including airports, about potential solutions for restricting drone operations around airports and other key infrastructure. We expect to have some results from this work by the end of the summer.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29284/CivilUK
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his Jordanian counterpart on the launch, recovery or other control of Reaper drones from that country or any other element of Reaper control.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonWe routinely discuss counter-Daesh air operations with Coalition partners but it would not be appropriate to give details about these discussions as to do so could affect the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29192/MilitaryJordan
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 February 2016 to Question 27211, whether the remit of permission granted to use the Sigonella air station extends to UK (a) Reaper launch and recovery operations and (b) combat missions.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonWe have had a long-standing presence at Naval Air Station Sigonella, and have made frequent use of it. However, it is not normal practice to comment on the details of arrangements with host nations.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29291/Air BasesItaly
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2016 to Question 27212, on what data work commenced on Joint Services Policy (JSP) 900 UK Targeting Policy - Edition 2.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonWork to create JSP 900 UK Targeting Policy Edition 2 began in January 2014 and the document was in the process of being finalised in September 2014. However, further work was required to ensure the Ministry of Defence's Full Spectrum Targeting (FSpecT) policy was coherent with the evolving National Full Spectrum Effects (FSE) approach.

In September 2015 Defence Instructions and Notices (DIN) 2015DIN03-024 "Full Spectrum Effects For Defence Operations" was released. The DIN set the framework for FSpecT policy within FSE; JSP 900 Edition 2 was released shortly afterwards. A review of JSP 900 Edition 2 is under way and it is expected that a new edition will be required to incorporate lessons identified from operations in Iraq and Syria.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29193/PolicyUK
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 February 2016 to Question 26409, what the role and location is of each of the six Reaper Force personnel embedded with the US Armed Forces; and with which units they are embedded.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe six embedded personnel are undertaking various training, test and evaluation duties at Holloman Air Force Base and Creech Air Force Base.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29194/PersonnelUS
9 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of a drone collision with an emergency helicopter attending a scene in a built-up area.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldThe Department for Transport is currently working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to develop consistent, EU-wide safety rules for drones.

The Department and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) work with a wide range of industry partners across the aviation sector, (including manufacturers, airports, and operators), to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date and mitigations effective.

This collaboration is also considering the need for other potential drone policies, such as geo-fencing. There are a number of drone models already sold in the UK with types of this technology installed and we are assessing the potential for solutions that could restrict drone operations around sensitive locations and key infrastructure.

The Government has undertaken analysis of the use of drones for criminal purposes, including the potential use of drones for terrorist purposes, and the impacts of their negligent use near sensitive locations, such as airports. This work is kept under review and is being used to inform research and testing to improve mitigation techniques and strategies.

Education of drone users is vital. The DfT is working with the CAA on raising awareness of responsible drone use. This includes the CAA’s ‘Drone Code’ safety awareness campaign and the issuing of safety leaflets at the point of sale.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-04/29800/CivilUK
8 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 22 February (HL5864), whether the term UK troops includes members of 13 Squadron, based at RAF Waddington, and of 39 Squadron, based at Creech Air Force Base in the US.Lord West of Spithead, Labour This Government has demonstrated its commitment to the war powers convention by its willingness to hold Parliamentary debates in relation to air strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2013, 2014 and 2015. However, we have no intention of defining the precise circumstances, including the identity of specific military units, capabilities or types of operation, under which we might be obliged to act first and to notify Parliament afterwards, in order to avoid presenting our adversaries with opportunities to exploit that definition against the UK or our interests.
Earl Howe. Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-25/HL6479/MilitaryGlobal
7 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the level of risk of developing mental health conditions among remote combat pilots; and what safeguards his Department has in place to protect such pilots from any such risk.Amanda Solloway, Conservative, Derby North The Government is committed to improving the mental health of our Armed Forces and has long recognised that Service life can cause stress. Support to personnel has improved in a number of ways, including providing pre and post-operational stress management training, a wide range of psychiatric and psychological treatments and initiatives such as Decompression, Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) and Post Operational Stress Management.

Trained TRiM providers are embedded in both - 13 Squadron and 39 Squadron, the Royal Air Forces's (RAF) frontline Reaper units based at RAF Waddington and Creech AFB.

For Financial Year 2014-15, out of a total of approximately 180 personnel, there were fewer than five RAF personnel from 13 Squadron or 39 Squadron who were seen for an initial assessment at Ministry of Defence Specialist Mental Health Services. This is a lower rate than the military population as a whole.
Mark Lancaster, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-29/28940/PersonnelUK
7 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what research his Department has commissioned on the effect of a drone strike on a commercial aircraft.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldI refer the Honourable Member to my answer given on 4 March UIN 29156 (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=QuestionsWithAnswersOnly&house=commons%2clords&uin=29156).
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-02/29554/CivilUK
4 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a system of civilian drone registration similar to that used in the USA.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldOfficials from my department are talking to both the US and Irish authorities about the potential benefits of a registration scheme and impacts that such a scheme would have on the industry and how effective a registration scheme would be in improving transparency of ownership. However registration schemes are only as good as the enforcement mechanisms behind them. Government will be consulting on a range of options over the summer.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29244/CivilUK
2 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority they attach to acquiring and deploying unmanned carrier-launched surveillance and strike aircraft.Lord Campbell, Lib DemThe Queen Elizabeth Class carriers will have an extensive flight deck with hangar and engineering support facilities, which can be utilised to operate and sustain autonomous systems. The Royal Navy recognises that such systems offer a unique opportunity to maintain its operational advantage and it continues to explore how they could augment its capabilities in the future.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-25/HL6440/PolicyUK
1 March 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to acquire Zephyr high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, and if so, for what purpose.Lord Campbell, Lib DemAs part of our commitment to providing next-generation battlefield intelligence capabilities to the UK Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence has contracted for the demonstration of two Zephyr Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. This contract will allow the UK to understand whether Zephyr can fulfil the requirement for high-altitude persistent surveillance capability as announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-24/HL6389/MilitaryUK
1 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) date and (b) remit was of his authorisation to use RAF Lakenheath as a base to carry out airstrikes in Libya.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether further authorisation from him will be necessary for any future airstrikes in Libya carried out by US forces from UK bases.
Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireAuthorisation for the United States to use UK bases to launch the airstrike against a Daesh training camp in Libya was given on 18 February 2016. Authorisation would be required for any operations of this nature involving the use of UK bases.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-23/28098/Air BasesUK/US
1 March 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to carry out practical tests on the effect of a drone flying into a jet engine.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham, NorthfieldCommercial aircraft are already rigorously tested to withstand collisions with small objects, such as birds, but my Department and the Civil Aviation Authority are working with the aviation sector, including manufacturers, airports and airlines, to ensure our understanding of the potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date. This activity is also helping to provide real life evidence of drone risks and the options for preventing collisions.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-03-01/29156/CivilUK
29 February 2016In what level of military involvement do the Government believe the British military must engage in Libya before the Prime Minister will bring any decision regarding military intervention in that country to the House?Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonAs I have said, we do not intend to deploy ground forces in any combat role. Before engaging in any military operation in Libya, we would of course have to seek an invitation from the Libyan Government, and would also have to involve this Parliament. As part of the international community, we have been party to the liberal international assistance mission, and we are ready to provide advice and training in support of the new Libyan Government. A training team of some 20 troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade is now moving to Tunisia to help to counter illegal cross-border movement from Libya in support of the Tunisian authorities.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160229/debtext/160229-0001.htm#160229-0001.htm_spnew88MilitaryUK
29 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2016 to Question 25312, whether he has been consulted about proposals for a US drone operation centre at RAF Lakenheath; and whether he has received a Host Nation Notification from the US in respect of RAF Lakenheath in the last year.Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford East No. The Ministry of Defence received a Host Nation Notification from the US in respect of RAF Lakenheath on 7 January 2015, relating to US F-35 basing.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-19/27237/Air BasesUK/US
29 February 2016I was disappointed to read in the media the Secretary of State’s recent statement that he had personally authorised the use of United Kingdom bases for United States airstrikes in Libya. The matter was not brought to the Chamber in advance. Furthermore, yesterday’s papers reported that the Government had now deployed British advisers to Libya. Will the Secretary of State commit himself to stopping this mission creep, and to ensuring that no further such action is taken without the leave of the House? Will he also explain his assessment of whether the action to date was lawful according to UK standards relating to the use of force, international humanitarian law, and human rights law?Kirsten Oswald, SNP, East RenfrewshireThe United States followed standard procedures, and made a formal request to use our bases. Once we had verified the legality of the operation, I granted permission for the United States to use our bases to support it, because they are trying to prevent Daesh from using Libya as a base from which to plan and carry out attacks that threaten the stability of Libya and the region, and indeed, potentially, the United Kingdom and our people as well. I was fully satisfied that the operation, which was a United States operation, would be conducted in accordance with international law.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160229/debtext/160229-0001.htm#160229-0001.htm_spnew85Air BasesUK/US
29 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has sought from or been given permission by the Italian government for use of the Sigonella air station in Sicily.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe UK Government has permission to operate from Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella. We make frequent use of it, for example in 2015, three Merlin helicopters were based there as a part of Operation WEALD, which provided search and rescue capability in the Mediterranean.

We are currently operating from NAS Sigonella as part of a NATO anti-submarine warfare exercise, Exercise DYNAMIC MANTA.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-19/27211/Air BasesItaly
25 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place a copy of the UK Joint Targeting and Battle Damage Assessment Policy paper, dated 2005, in the Library.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe UK Joint Targeting and Battle Damage Assessment Policy paper, dated 2005 established the baseline principles primarily for coordinating the delivery of lethal effects. This paper has been superseded by Joint Services Policy (JSP) 900 UK Targeting Policy - Edition 2 dated September 2015 which contains the policy and direction on targeting, and guidance on the processes involved and best practice to apply. UK Targeting policy has evolved to incorporate operational lessons identified through Full Spectrum Targeting, apportioning action (lethal and non-lethal) in accordance with desired policy outcomes, and to bring greater interoperability between the UK, NATO and the 5 Eyes Nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US ). JSP 900 cannot yet be placed in the public domain as it would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces and forces cooperating with them. However, we are working to produce a releasable version which is to be published later in 2016.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-19/27212/PolicyUK
25 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government which organisations are responsible for enforcing security of aircraft against incidents with drones, and what means they have to disable such drones and identify the owners.Lord Berkeley, Labour Working alongside other agencies in the intelligence and law enforcement communities, the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority are responsible for assessing and managing the risks to and from civil aviation, including remotely piloted aircraft systems. There are regulations in place that require users to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their drone and to not recklessly or negligently allow a drone to endanger any person or property; these regulations have recently led to successful prosecutions for misuse. Work is ongoing to identify appropriate and effective mitigations from point of sale to incident resolution.
Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-11/HL6155/CivilUK
25 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what procedure was followed before the authorisation of the use of RAF Lakenheath for airstrikes in Libya on 19 February 2016.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenI confirmed in a statement on 19 February 2016 that I had authorised the request. Permission was granted once I was satisfied with the legality of the operation.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-22/27841/Air BasesUK/US
23 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2016 to Question 25293, whether his Department distinguishes between the proposed use of deployed platforms with capabilities for (a) high value targeting and (b) intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenWith reference to the answer given by my predecessor to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East (Tom Watson) on 23 June 2014 (Official Report, column 99W) we do not distinguish between platforms with different capabilities.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-10/26842/MilitaryGlobal
22 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposal from the Italian government (a) to deploy 1,000 British troops to Libya and (b) for Italian Reaper drones to conduct target acquisition in Libya for the purpose of joint strike operations with the US and UK.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden The UK is considering, with partner nations, how we can best support the new Libyan government, including in terms of capacity building and security sector reform. No decisions have been made about the future deployment of any British military forces to Libya as part of an international coalition force.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-09/26592/MilitaryLibya
22 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether personnel from Reaper Squadrons 39 and 13 attended military meetings in Tobruk between 18 January and 31 January 2016.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden The Government has a long-standing policy not to comment on intelligence matters.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-09/26593/MilitaryLibya
22 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the evidence given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10 February 2016, how many operations UK Reaper drones have undertaken in Libyan airspace this year.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe Government has a long-standing policy not to comment on intelligence matters.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-10/26773/MilitaryLibya
22 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question 24110, whether he plans to publish the terms of reference for the Reaper User Group before the Group meeting on 14 to 18 March 2016.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe release of the Terms of Reference for the Reaper User Group will be discussed at the next meeting from 14 to 18 March 2016.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-10/26843/PolicyUK
17 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are bound to consult or seek the approval of Parliament before undertaking aircraft or drone air strikes in Libya.Lord West, LabourThe Government is committed to the convention that, before UK troops are committed to conflict, Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the matter except when there is an emergency and such action would not be appropriate.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-03/HL5864/MilitaryLibya
16 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, within what timeframe his Department is able to deploy Reaper drones to Libya.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonI am withholding the information on the deployment timelines of Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems as its disclosure would or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-09/26528/MilitaryLibya
16 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any personnel from Reaper Squadrons 39 or 13 are currently embedded with US forces.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonNo personnel directly from 39 Squadron or 13 Squadron are currently embedded with the US armed forces. However, from the Reaper force as a whole, there are currently six Royal Air Force personnel embedded with the United States Air Force.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-09/26409/Embedded PersonnelUS
16 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Reaper drones have been used in operations in Syria.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordI am withholding operational information on the number of RAF Reaper aircraft deployed as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-09/26388/MilitarySyria
16 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether there are Reaper Ground Control Stations available for use by UK Reaper Squadrons 13 and 39 in North Africa.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe Government has a long standing policy not to comment on intelligence matters.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-08/26356/MilitaryNorth Africa
11 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Zephyr 8 UAVs his Department plans to buy; what the estimated cost per unit is of that equipment; what the programme through life cost is of that equipment; and where he plans units of that equipment will be based.Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party, Dunfermline and West FifeAs part of our commitment to providing next-generation battlefield intelligence capabilities to the UK Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence is planning to contract for the demonstration of two Zephyr Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. This contract will allow the UK to understand whether Zephyr can fulfil the requirement for a high-altitude persistent surveillance capability, as announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The £10.6 million contract, due to be signed imminently with Airbus Defence and Space, is for an operational concept demonstration rather than individual platforms, so unit costs are not held. Furthermore, as the Zephyr demonstrators will not be in-service, they will not be based at a particular location and there will be no related support or through-life costs.

Tests are due to take place in 2017 to assess Zephyr's capabilities and explore its potential.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-03/25681/MilitaryGlobal
10 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to minimise the risk to aircraft from the use of drones, and whether those steps include a system of registration of ownership.Lord Beecham, LabourDrones are becoming increasingly popular and have the potential to bring significant economic benefits, but it is vital that they are operated safely, in a way that does not put members of the public and other aircraft at risk. There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Work is underway to better understand the level of risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes. We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to find technical solutions to the problems around airport, these include mandated geo-fencing or frequency jammers.

The department is leading efforts with international bodies to develop a stringent regulatory framework focusing on safety. We are currently undertaking public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public.

The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.
Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-01/HL5650/CivilUK
10 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2016 to Question 23290, what his Department's policy is on (a) the application of the convention on giving Parliament the opportunity to debate military intervention abroad to armed drones and (b) informing the House of any exceptional operation on the grounds of self-defence of the UK.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe Government is committed to the convention that, before UK troops are committed to conflict, Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the matter except when there is an emergency. It is fitting to keep Parliament informed of major new developments and to answer questions on them.

The Government will inform the House of any exceptional operation where there has not been prior debate in Parliament as the Prime Minister did on 7 September 2015 in relation to the precision airstrike that took place on 21 August 2015.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25543/MilitaryGlobal
10 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take for the protection of air passengers following the recent report of the UK Airprox Board of four near-miss incidents involving drones at UK airports.The Marquess of Lothian, ConservativeThe safety of the public is of the uttermost importance to the Government and whilst I recognise the potential significant economic benefits that drones can have to the UK, it is vital that they are operated safely and in a way that does not put members of the public and other aircraft at risk.

There are existing regulations for users of small unmanned aerial vehicles. Article 166 of the UK Air Navigation order 2009 (ANO) requires operators of small unmanned aircraft to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purposes of avoiding collisions. It also states that an operator may only fly the aircraft if they are reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.

In addition, Article 138 of the ANO 2009, which also applies to small unmanned aircraft, states that “a person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. This includes persons within another aircraft, and of course the aircraft that those persons are within.

We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to find technical solutions to the problems around airport, these include mandated geo-fencing or frequency jammers.

The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.

The department is leading efforts with international bodies to develop a stringent regulatory framework focusing on safety. We are currently undertaking public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public.
Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-01/HL5744/CivilUK
10 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to minimise the risk to aircraft from the use of drones, and whether those steps include a system of registration of ownership.Lord Beecham, LabourDrones are becoming increasingly popular and have the potential to bring significant economic benefits, but it is vital that they are operated safely, in a way that does not put members of the public and other aircraft at risk. There are existing regulations in place that require users of drones to maintain direct, unaided visual contact with their vehicle and to not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property. Work is underway to better understand the level of risk posed by flying drones close to commercial planes. We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to find technical solutions to the problems around airport, these include mandated geo-fencing or frequency jammers.

The department is leading efforts with international bodies to develop a stringent regulatory framework focusing on safety. We are currently undertaking public dialogues ahead of a public consultation which will help to inform a government strategy to be published this year. The consultation will look at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public.

The Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking activities to raise awareness of the basic safety requirements, including an ongoing ‘Dronecode’ safety awareness campaign, issuing safety leaflets at the point of sale, publishing an animated video on their website, and running ‘small UAS’ Risk and Hazard workshops with industry as part of the Mid Air Collision Programme.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-02-01/HL5650/Civil UseUK
10 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions his Department has had with the US administration on the siting of a US drone operation centre at (a) RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk and (b) other UK locations.Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford EastThe UK and US have routine discussions on all aspects of US visiting forces in the UK.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25312/UK basesUK
9 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on public safety of placing the regulation of (a) drones and (b) unmanned aerial vehicles within the purview of the Civil Aviation Authority.Virendra Sharma, Labour, Ealing, SouthallThe Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for regulating civil aircraft, including RPAS and small drones. However, the Department recognises that there are types of offenses relating to drones that are not aviation specific or pose an aviation risk and are more social, so the degree to which the CAA should be involved is currently under review.

We are currently developing a Memorandum of Understanding between the DfT, the CAA, the Home Office and Police to better establish where responsibility lies for enforcing breaches of drone related regulations
Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25277/Civil UseUK
9 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question 24141, at which military bases unauthorised entries were reported in 2015.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe figures for unauthorised entries to military bases include drones and air balloon flying at low altitude over military sites but do not include failed attempts at unauthorised access. None of these incidents resulted in any significant ramifications for Defence Security.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) treats all unauthorised entries very seriously. They are investigated to a level commensurate with their complexity and impact by Military Police, MOD Police or local constabulary.

The locations of security incidents of this category recorded within the MOD for 2015 are set out below.

Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth (three incidents)

HMNB Devonport

HMS TEMERAIRE, Portsmouth

Royal Marine Reserves Unit, Bristol

Priorswood Army Cadet Force Detachment, Taunton

Imjin Barracks, Gloucester

Denison Barracks, Hermitage

Caen Barracks, Hohne

Mansergh Barracks, Gutersloh

Invicta Park Barracks, Maidstone

Imjin Barracks, Gloucester

Allenby Barracks Army Reserve Centre, Bovington

Gibraltar Barracks, Minley

Cherrytree Camp, Colchester

Cwmbran Army Reserve Centre, Cwmbran

Westward House Army Reserve Centre, Grimsby

Westdown Camp, Tilshead

Kinloss Barracks, Kinloss

Kendrew Barracks Cottesmore

Redford Cavalry Barracks, Edinburgh

Fox Barracks Army Reserve Centre, Chester

Gorleston Army Cadet Force Detachment, Gorleston-on-Sea

Livingstone Army Reserve Centre, Livingston

Stanley Barracks, Wareham

Normanby Army Cadet Force Detachment, Middlesbrough

Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth

Tamworth Army Cadet Force Detachment, Tamworth

Merville Barracks, Colchester

Canal Street Army Reserve Centre, Wigan

Batley Army Cadet Force Detachment, Batley

RAF Waddington

RAF Marham

RAF Uxbridge

RAF St Mawgan

RAF Brampton

RAF Lossiemouth

RAF Cosford

RAF Leeming (two incidents)

RAF Akrotiri

MOD Lyneham

DSTL Porton Down Range Area
Mark Lancaster, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-01/25082/CivilUK
9 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2016 to Question 23290, whether it is his policy for the House to be given an opportunity to debate in advance any decision to (a) launch airstrikes against ISIL/Daesh targets outside Syria and Iraq and (b) deploy UK military personnel, embedded within other nations' armed forces, on military operations against ISIL/Daesh targets outside Syria and IraqEmily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe Government is committed to the convention that, before UK troops are committed to conflict, Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the matter, except when such action is necessary in an emergency. The Government will inform the House of any exceptional operation where there has not been prior debate in Parliament, as the Prime Minister did on 7 September 2015 in relation to the precision airstrike that took place on 21 August 2015.

The embedding of UK forces in the armed forces of allies is a valuable and commonplace activity governed through long standing and frequently reciprocal international arrangements. Although it is not policy for the House to be given the opportunity to debate their deployment we are committed to continued transparency about UK Service personnel embedded in other nations' armed forces on operations and I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement I made on 17 December 2015 (Official Report, column 97-98WS) which updated the House on this.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-04/25918/PolicyUK
9 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to protect people living in the vicinity of (a) Heathrow and (b) RAF Northolt from (i) drones and (ii) unmanned aerial vehicles.Virendra Sharma, Labour, Ealing, SouthallA cross government working group led by the Department for Transport is undertaking a detailed analysis of the range of risks posed by drones. This work is ongoing and kept under constant review. Further work is now proceeding to capture and evaluate potential mitigation measures and strategies. Initial guidance on tackling the risks has been provided to constabularies across the UK.

Work is also underway to qualify the specific level of risk posed by small drones to commercial air transport. We are talking to both the Civil Aviation Authority and airports to find technical solutions to the problems around airports, these include mandated geo-fencing or frequency jammers. The CAA has also worked with major drone manufacturers on the geo-fencing capabilities of their products, which has included providing a list of locations such as airport control zones.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25276/Civil useUK
5 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2016 to Question 23290, for what reasons he will not make it his policy that the House be given the opportunity to debate any decision to deploy UK Reaper aircraft outside of Syria and Iraq.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyI refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the then Minister for the Armed Forces (Mark Francois), on 23 June 2014 (Official Report, column 99W), to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East (Tom Watson).
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25293/MilitaryUK
5 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps UK forces take to avoid civilian casualties when targeting (a) oil facilities and (b) other infrastructure in Syria.Cat Smith, Labour, Lancaster and FleetwoodRegardless of the type of target being considered, the UK performs an assessment prior to every UK strike to assess the likelihood of any civilian casualties. This examines the impact of the strike on the surrounding area and whether there are likely to be any civilians present.

The UK military takes every possible step to avoid civilian casualties.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-29/24876/MilitarySyria
5 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2016 to Question 23435, whether it is his Department's position that the UK was a party to the armed conflict occurring in Syria at the time of the air strike on 21 August 2015.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonAn armed conflict was occurring in Syria at the time of the air strike on 21 August 2015. The UK's military strike was governed by international humanitarian law.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25545/MilitarySyria
5 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the operational capacity of the (a) Royal Navy and (b) RAF to extend military operations against ISIL/Daesh beyond Syria and Iraq.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe future operational capacities of the UK Armed Forces are set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Should there be a requirement for new military operations against Daesh beyond Syria and Iraq, these would need to be balanced against the commitments at the time and the capabilities available.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25291/MilitaryGlobal
5 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 26 January 2016 to Question 23171, to which countries RAF Reaper drones have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties since 26 January 2016.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburySince 26 January UK Reapers have been deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Iraq and Syria.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-02/25292/MilitaryGlobal
3 February 2016Yes, I think that the kill so far has been two trucks and five mobile cranes. Does it really matter what type of bomb or which of the coalition partners drop it? It has been reported that some 40 civilians or more were killed in January and in the first two days of this week. Surely we are involved in a joint enterprise and, by long-standing principles of English law, we are all of us legally and morally responsible for the lives of those who are killed—innocent civilians, innocent men, women and children—by these bombs. What comment would the Minister have?Lord Thomas of Gresford, Liberal DemocratSo far as we are concerned, as a member of the coalition, we take the possibility and risk of civilian casualties extremely seriously. As I said in my initial Answer, to date there is no evidence that UK strikes have resulted in civilian casualties. Three factors underpin that: our use of precision guided weapons; our adherence to very strict targeting and planning protocols; and, above all, the skill of our pilots and air crew. I think that it does make a difference whether it is the RAF or another air force taking part.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/160203-0001.htm#st_2MilitarySyria
3 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the effectiveness to date of the RAF’s Brimstone missiles in bombing Syria, and in particular in protecting the civilian population.Lord Thomas of Gresford, Liberal DemocratMy Lords, the Brimstone missile offers the coalition a capability to strike moving targets accurately, with minimal risk of collateral damage. Between 2 December 2015 and 31 January 2016, RAF Brimstone missiles were used successfully on nine occasions in Syria to strike enemy vehicles. There have been no associated reports of civilian casualties and it is assessed that all targets were successfully destroyed or damaged.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/160203-0001.htm#st_0MilitarySyria
3 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much has been spent on (a) maintenance of and (b) upgrade works for (i) Tornado, (ii) Typhoon and (iii) Reaper drones in each of the last six years.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe costs of maintenance and capability upgrades for Tornado, Typhoon and the Reaper Unmanned Air System, in each of the last six financial years, are shown in the table below.


Financial year (£ million)


2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15


Tornado: capability upgrade work

87.2

69.3

33.3

28.9

58.2

45.6


Tornado: maintenance

311.0

303.8

369.7

344.2

247.7

184.9


Typhoon: capability upgrade work

0

0

0

0

66.8

178.4


Typhoon: maintenance

392.7

475.3

499.6

294.8

313.1

460.2


Reaper: maintenance

4.8

4.8

4.8

9.8

27.1

23.5


Reaper: capability upgrade work

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.6

1.3

1.3


Note: Costs for all platforms are extracted from the equipment support programme budget.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24360/MilitaryUK
2 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his letter of 16 January 2016 to Chris Woods, leader of Airwars, whether British aircraft participated in any of the eight incidents cited by Mr Woods in his letter of 8 January 2016.Graham Allen, Labour, Nottingham North RAF aircraft were not involved in strikes in seven of the incidents cited by Mr Woods. The eighth incident was impossible to locate from the detail given in the letter: all information from the RAF air strike conducted on that particular day has been reviewed and there was no indication of any civilian casualties resulting from the strike.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/23953/MilitaryIraq and Syria
2 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of documents relevant to the decision to target Reyaad Khan by drone strike in Syria on 21 August 2015 for purposes related to the inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into that matter.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of his Department's legal advice on the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan for purposes related to the inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee on that matter.
Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenI refer the hon. Member to the answer the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) gave to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. Anderson) on Monday 25 January 2016, UIN23433.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/24031/LegalitySyria
2 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information his Department holds on the number of casualties that have resulted from the UK's use of (a) Brimstone missiles, (b) Hellfire missiles and (c) Paveway IV guided bombs on the most recent occasions on which those weapons were deployed against targets in (i) Iraq and (ii) Syria.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe Ministry of Defence takes any allegations of civilian casualties very seriously. We do an assessment after every British strike of the damage that has been caused, and check very carefully whether there are likely to have been civilian casualties. As has always been the case, we consider all available credible evidence to support such assessments.

There is no such evidence to date that RAF airstrikes have caused any civilian casualties.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-28/24666/MilitaryIraq and Syria
1 February 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times personnel from UK Reaper Squadrons 39 and 13 have used the red card system in 2015 in joint operations.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenI am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/23887/PersonnelUK
1 February 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on the 20 January (HL4935), (1) what is the timeline for the development of the written policy for future capability requirements, development, integration and use of unmanned systems, (2) what form of consultation is proposed, and (3) whether the written policy proposed will include a position statement on the use of drones by the Her Majesty's Government (a) in domestic airspace, and (b) for collective and individual self-defence abroad.Lord Kenny of Southwark, LabourDefence policy on use of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) is currently being drafted. This work is still in an early stage and is currently scoping the policy with the aim of producing a substantive document towards the end of the year. It is our intention to consult widely during its production, both across Government and with our international allies.

This work will be supported and underpinned by the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre's (DCDC) revision and update of Joint Doctrine Note 2/11 "The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems" and through its work on the Future Air and Space Operating Concept; both of which are currently being written and will be available before the end of 2016. The DCDC will then commence work on the next edition of Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30 "UK Air and Space Doctrine" which it expects to publish in first quarter 2017.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-21/HL5353/PolicyUK
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the written statement of 20 July 2015, HCWS 149, whether his Department has completed its collation of information on UK personnel embedded on operations; and whether he plans for that collation to include information on intelligence analysts and RPAS operators working remotely.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenI refer my right hon. Friend to my Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2015 (HCWS431) which details UK Service personnel embedded in another nations' armed forces, who are deployed on operations together with those who work on operations in deployed coalition or single nation headquarters roles. Intelligence analysts or remotely piloted air systems operators meeting this criteria would be included in the data but for personal and operational security reasons these numbers will not be separately identified.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/24045/PersonnelGlobal
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Statement of 20 July 2015, HCWS 149, whether UK personnel embedded with the US military are subject to US military and domestic criminal law, or UK law, or both.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenUnder the Armed Forces Act 2006, UK personnel embedded with other nations' armed forces remain subject to Service law (including the criminal law of England and Wales) at all times. Whether UK personnel embedded with US armed forces are also subject to US law will depend on the exact nature of their deployment.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24325/PersonnelUK
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times (a) Brimstone missiles, (b) Hellfire missiles and (c) Paveway IV guided bombs have been deployed against targets in (i) Iraq since September 2014 and (ii) Syria since December 2015.Emily Thornberry, Labour, Islington South and FinsburyThe number of weapons fired by each weapon type in each country during the period requested up to 24 January 2016 is shown below:



RAF Weapon Usage on Op SHADER in Iraq and Syria




Weapon Type

Number of weapons fired at targets in Iraq From September 2014

Number of weapons fired at targets in Syria From 2 December 2015


Hellfire

311

7


Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone

117

9


Paveway IV

540

34




The Ministry of Defence provides a regular update on airstrikes at http//www.gov.uk/government/news/update-air-strikes-in-Iraq
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24285/MilitaryIraq and Syria
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2015 to the hon. Member for Bolton South East to Question 16740, to what extent his Department uses US contractors for the training of UK Reaper operators and support personnel.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden The United States Air Force makes use of contractors in order to deliver Reaper training to both UK and their own Reaper crews (pilots and sensor operators). Contractors deliver the majority of Ground School and Simulator training, with a smaller proportion involved in Flying training. I can confirm that no support personnel are trained by US contractors.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24127/Personnel TrainingUK/US
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans for the Reaper User Group to (a) meet and (b) consider training, interoperability or asset-sharing.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe Reaper User Group will meet on 14-18 March 2016 and is likely to consider training, interoperability and asset sharing.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/23886/MilitaryMulti-state
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East to Question 222431, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Reaper User Group terms of reference.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden Discussions with partner nations are continuing about the release of the Terms of Reference of the Reaper User Group.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24110/PersonnelInter-State
29 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Statement of 20 July 2015, Official Report, columns 1233-4, on Counter-ISIL Coalition Strategy, if he will publish the location of UK personnel, other than special forces, embedded in other nations' armed forces on a monthly basis.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Written Statement of 20 July 2015, HCWS 149, if he will make it his policy to publish the (a) numbers, (b) units and (c) dates of embedded service of UK personnel embedded in other nations' armed forces on a monthly basis.
David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenI refer my right hon. Friend to my Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2015 (Official Report, column WS431).



For operational security reasons we will not routinely identify units, location or dates.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24323/PersonnelGlobal
28 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the written statement of 20 July 2015, HCWS 149, whether his Department has completed its collation of information on UK personnel embedded on operations; and whether he plans for that collation to include information on intelligence analysts and RPAS operators working remotely.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden I refer my right hon. Friend to my Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2015 (HCWS431) which details UK Service personnel embedded in another nations' armed forces, who are deployed on operations together with those who work on operations in deployed coalition or single nation headquarters roles. Intelligence analysts or remotely piloted air systems operators meeting this criteria would be included in the data but for personal and operational security reasons these numbers will not be separately identified.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/24045/PersonnelUK
28 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what working definition of imminence his Department uses in the application of article 51 of the UN Charter.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonIt has long been the position of successive UK Governments that "the inherent right of self-defence", as recognised in Article 51 of the UN Charter, does not require a State to wait until an armed attack is actually under way before it can lawfully use force to alleviate the threat. A State may use force in anticipation of an armed attack where such an attack is imminent, provided that such force is both necessary and proportionate to averting the threat. The assessments would depend on the facts of each case, with consideration likely to include issues such as the nature and immediacy of the threat, the probability of an attack, its scale and effects and whether it can be prevented without force.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23242/LegalityGlobal
28 January 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the Thales Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle to come into full service.Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, Lib DemThe Watchkeeper Tactical Remotely Piloted Aircraft System was brought into service with the Army in 2014 and subsequently deployed to support operations in Afghanistan. Full operating capability is forecast to be achieved in the second quarter of 2017.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-19/HL5171/MilitaryUK
28 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will disclose a summary of his Department's legal advice to the (a) Joint Committee on Human Rights and (b) Intelligence and Security Committee relevant to the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan on 21 August 2015.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonI refer the hon. Member to the answer on this subject given to him by the Prime Minister on 25 January 2016, UIN 23433.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23431/LegalitySyria
28 January 2016To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to commission any review of the drone strike against Reyaad Khan on 21 August 2015 aside from the review being undertaken by the Intelligence and Security Committee.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Ms West) on 21 January 2016, UIN 22720.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/24001/MilitarySyria
28 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will disclose a summary of his Department's legal advice to the (a) Joint Committee on Human Rights and (b) Intelligence and Security Committee relevant to the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan on 21 August 2015.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonI refer the hon. Member to the answer on this subject given to him by the Prime Minister on 25 January 2016, UIN 23433.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23431/LegalitySyria
28 January 2016To ask the Prime Minister, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of documents relevant to the decision to target Reyaad Khan by drone strike in Syria on 21 August 2015 for purposes related to the inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into that matter.
To ask the Prime Minister, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of legal advice given to him on the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan for purposes related to the inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee on that matter.
Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr Anderson) on 25 January 2016, UIN 23433, 23438 and 23447.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-25/24033/MilitarySyria
27 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of documents relevant to the decision to target Reyaad Khan by drone strike in Syria on 21 August 2015 for purposes related to the Inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into that matter.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonThe Prime Minister discussed the scope of the Intelligence and Security Committee's (ISC) Inquiry with its Chairman. They reached agreement on the disclosure of material to the ISC that will enable the Committee to conduct a review of the threat posed by Reyaad Khan. The ISC have received contemporaneous intelligence assessments of Khan and will take further evidence in the coming weeks.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23432/MilitarySyria
27 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Libyan government on tackling the spread of DaeshJim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordWe are extremely concerned about the growing threat from extremist groups in Libya, including Daesh. The recent attacks in the Oil Crescent and Zliten in western Libya show the threat that these groups pose to the stability of Libya and the region, and potentially to the UK and our interests. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) spoke to Prime Minister Designate, Fayez al-Serraj, on 10 January to stress the importance of the Government of National Accord forming quickly, and to emphasise the UK Government’s commitment to supporting the new government to tackle the threats from Daesh and people smuggling.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-19/23053/MilitaryLibya
27 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make it his policy that the House be given an opportunity to debate in advance any decision to deploy UK Reaper aircraft outside Syria and Iraq.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonNo.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23290/PolicyGlobal
26 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of the UK red card policy for personnel embedded in other nations' armed forces.David Davis, Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenThere is no single red card policy for UK personnel embedded in other nations' armed forces as their permissions will be specific to the operation in which they will be deployed. It is long-standing Government policy that we do not release details of our Rules of Engagement; to do so would give our enemies detail that would put our Armed Forces at greater risk.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24324/MilitaryUK
26 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in how many countries UK Reapers are currently operational.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether UK Reapers have been deployed to Libya.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any personnel from UK Reaper Squadrons have been deployed to (a) Libya, (b) Kenya and (c) Somalia in the last three years.
David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonUK Reapers are currently operational in Iraq and Syria. No UK Reapers have been deployed to Libya, and no personnel from UK Reaper Squadrons have been deployed to Libya, Kenya or Somalia in the last three years.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-19/23171/MilitaryGlobal
26 January 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many police forces in the UK are operating drones for intelligence purposes, or for the prevention or detection of crime; and whether such use is being monitored by the Inspectorate of Constabulary, or any other independent body.Lord Condon, CrossbenchThe use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is an operational matter for individual police forces, and the Home Office does not hold information on which forces use them. A number of forces are conducting trials to assess whether the use of drones can bring benefits to the provision of the police service. Any use would need to comply with existing Civil Aviation Authority Regulations. Monitoring the police use of drones is not within Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Constabulary's (HMIC) general remit. HMIC have confirmed that they have no plans to consider police use of drones at this stage.
Lord Bates, Minister of State, Home Department
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-19/HL5196/Civil UseUK
26 January 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Hellfire missiles were fired (1) in training, and (2) on operations, in each year from 2008 to 2015, and what platforms they were mounted on.Lord Moonie, LabourHellfire missiles are used by RAF Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems and Army Air Corps Apache helicopters.

For the Reaper Force, the Air Vehicles have been continuously deployed on Operations over the requested timescale. Consequently, there have been no missile rounds fired in Training from RAF Reaper. The following table details Hellfire missile firings from RAF Reaper on Operations in Afghanistan

(2008-14) Iraq (2014-15) and Syria (2015).




Year (Jan-Dec)

UK Reaper Hellfire rounds fired on Operations


2008

16


2009

32


2010

58


2011

100


2012

104


2013

94


2014

93


2015

258
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-18/HL5151/MilitaryIraq and Syria
25 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference his oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights of 16 December 2015, Question 20, HC 574, whether his Department's position was that the UK was in an armed conflict (a) before, (b) on the date of or (c) as a result of the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan of 21 August 2015.David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonAn armed conflict was occuring in Syria at the time of the air strike on 21 August 2015.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23435/LegalitySyria
25 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will assess the implications for his policies of the Oxford Research Group's recent report entitled, The Hostile use of Drones by Non-State Actors against British Targets; and if he will make a statement.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldA cross government working group is maintaining a detailed analysis of the security threats posed by drones. This work includes an assessment of the risks of the use of drones for terrorism and criminal purposes. Further work is now proceeding to capture and evaluate potential mitigation measures and strategies. Initial guidance on tackling the risks has been provided to constabularies across the UK.



The findings of the report align well with the ongoing work of this group. While the government recognises that this emerging technology creates exciting opportunities for the UK economy, the risks for security and safety and its response to them will be kept under constant review.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23388/Civil UseUK
25 January 2016To ask the Prime Minister, whether any person or body has sought disclosure of his Department's legal advice on the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan for purposes related to the Inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into that matter.
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to issue a new Memorandum of Understanding under section 2(2) of the Justice and Security Act on the remit of the Intelligence and Security Committee in the current Parliament.
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will disclose a summary of the government advice on the legality of the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan in the manner set out in Part 6 of the Cabinet Manual.
David Anderson, Labour, BlaydonI refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Ms West) on 21 January 2016, UIN 22720.

By long-standing convention under successive Governments the Law Officers’ advice is not published. The legal basis for the airstrike against Reyaad Khan is set out in the Government’s Memorandum to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The Government’s legal position in relation to UK airstrikes against Daesh in Syria is reflected in my response to the Foreign Affairs Committee Report on the extension of offensive British military operations to Syria.

The current Memorandum of Understanding together with the Justice and Security Act 2013 provides the necessary scope for the ISC to conduct robust oversight of those matters that are within its statutory remit.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23438/Military/LegalitySyria
25 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the comments made by a spokesperson of his Department in an article published in The Herald newspaper on 10 January 2016, and pursuant to his oral contribution of 18 January 2016, Official Report, column 1118, if he will issue guidance to independent monitoring groups on how to contact his Department on, and how to submit evidence relating to, possible civilian casualties from air strikes in Syria and Iraq; and if he will make a statement.Graham Allen, Labour, Nottingham North Independent monitoring groups are free to contact the Ministry of Defence through the normal means of correspondence and any credible reports of civilian casualties will be investigated.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23253/MilitaryIraq and Syria
25 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which (a) ministers attended and (b) departments are represented on the Government's working group on drones; when that group was formed; and what its schedule of meetings is.Richard Burden, Labour, Birmingham NorthfieldThe Cross Government Working Group on Drones is a group of officials tasked with developing policy on drones. Ministers do not attend. Participation is from the following Departments and agencies:

Department for Transport

Home Office

Ministry of Defence

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Cabinet Office

Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs

Business Innovation and Skills

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure

Civil Aviation Authority

Information Commissioner’s Office

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Department for Communities and Local Government



The group was formed in March 2013 and it meets quarterly. The schedule of meetings for 2016 is February; May; September and December.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-20/23389/Civil UseUK
22 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Caroline principles are applied to any further targeted killing carried out in self-defence of the UK.Yasmin Qureshi, Labour, Bolton South East In taking any action in self-defence of the UK, we will take account of well-established principles of self-defence. As the Attorney General pointed out to the Justice Select Committee on 15 September 2015, the Caroline case goes back to the 19th century and was concerned with very different circumstances to those facing us now. However as the Attorney General also made clear, the principles still apply and action in self-defence may be lawful in relation to an attack which has not yet materialised but is imminent. In addition any such action must, like all other action in self-defence, comply with the requirements of necessity and proportionality.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-19/23236/LegalityGlobal
21 January 2016To ask the Prime Minister, if he will amend the Memorandum of Understanding of 25 November 2014 under section 2(2) of the Justice and Security Act 2013 to enable the Intelligence and Security Committee to review documents related to the military action against Reyaad Khan in Syria.Catherine West, Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)I discussed the scope of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) Inquiry with the Chairman, my Right Honourable Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) and we have reached agreement on the disclosure of material to the ISC that will enable them to conduct a robust review of the threat posed by Reyaad Khan. The ISC have received contemporaneous intelligence assessments of Khan and will take further evidence in the coming weeks.

The Chairman of the ISC has written to the Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the right hon. Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), to set out the Committee’s views and this has been published on the ISC’s website. I understand that the letter makes it clear that the ISC’s remit is intelligence not military action.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-15/22720/MilitarySyria
20 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many sorties of the Watchkeeper UAV have been flown from RAF Ascension in each month since January 2015.Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party, Dunfermline and West Fife None.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-18/22959/MilitaryUK
20 January 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to devise a written policy for the development, integration and use of military unmanned systems.Lord Kennedy of Southwark, LabourThe Ministry of Defence is currently seeking to articulate in one policy document the considerations for future UK capability requirements, development, integration and use of unmanned systems.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2016-01-12/HL4935/PolicyUK
19 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian casualties have been recorded in Syria as a result of RAF military intervention since 2 December 2015.Tom Brake, Lib Dem, Carshalton and WallingtonThere have been no recorded civilian casualties in Iraq or Syria as a result of RAF military intervention since 2 December 2015.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-12/22197/MilitarySyria
18 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to publish written guidlines for British drone strikes.Alison McGovern, Labour, Wirral SouthUnmanned drones are no different from any other weapon system and subject to the same legal and other frameworks. We have no plans to publish any guidelines. I refer the hon. Member to the evidence provided by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Michael Fallon) on 16 December 2015 to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-13/22419/MilitaryUK
18 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pursuant to the Answer of 15 September 2015 to Question 9021 and with reference to the Oxford Research Group, Remote Control project report: Hostile drones, published 11 January 2015, if the Office for Nuclear Regulation will review security at nuclear power stations.Paul Flynn, Labour, Newport WestLicensees of UK nuclear sites are required by ONR to demonstrate that they have resilience against a range of external threat scenarios. These scenarios are updated regularly considering developments in technology and other areas. The airspace over UK nuclear licensed sites is restricted by the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Nuclear Installations) Regulations 2007. These impose restricted airspace of a radius between 0.5 and 2 nautical miles and to a height of between 1000 and 2400 feet above mean sea level around the centre of those nuclear licensed sites listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations. Airspace usage in the UK is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Andrea Leadsom, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-13/22365/Civil useUK
18 January 2016I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, but can he therefore confirm that the Ministry of Defence will accept evidence of civilian deaths from other sources outwith UK military personnel and local friendly forces? Will he assure the House that the evidence from highly credible organisations such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Airwars and the White Helmets—groups that work on the ground and that are very often the first people on the scene—will be considered when calculating civilian deaths in future?Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party, Argyll and ButeLet me assure the hon. Gentleman that we will look at any evidence brought forward in open source reporting by other organisations in the assessment we make of each of the strikes in which our aircraft are involved. I have replied directly to one of the organisations he mentions—Airwars—pointing out that there is no particular evidence to back up the assessment it made in that particular case.http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160118/debtext/160118-0001.htm#160118-0001.htm_spnew34MilitaryUK
18 January 2016Does the Secretary of State agree with the Prime Minister, who told the Liaison Committee last week that in the case of civilian casualties,

“if people make allegations we must look at them”?
Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party, Argyll and ButeWe do an assessment after every British strike of the damage that has been caused, and check very carefully whether there are likely to have been casualties. Of course, that is taken into account in planning and approving the strike in the first place. It so happens that, in the first year and a bit of operations, we are not aware of any civilian casualties so far in our strikes in Iraq or more recently in Syria, but they are military operations—we do everything possible to reduce the risk of civilian casualties, but it is not possible to eliminate it entirely.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160118/debtext/160118-0001.htm#160118-0001.htm_spnew34MilitaryUK
18 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2016 to Question 21502, on Syria: military intervention, what the evidential basis is for the statement that there have been no reports of civilian casualties as a result of RAF airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.Alan Brown, Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun All UK airstrikes in Iraq and Syria are assessed post-strike using the best available imagery, intelligence and other sources of information to assess the impact of the strike on the target and affected area. This assessment, coupled with pre-strike checks provides the evidence base to support the statement that in the hundreds of airstrikes conducted by the RAF to date in Iraq and, more recently Syria, we have found no evidence of civilian casualties arising from UK airstrikes.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-13/22321/MilitarySyria
14 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in which countries British military personnel are embedded.Mary Creagh, Labour, WakefieldI refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 17 December 2015, (Official Report, column 98WS) which sets out that we only centrally collate data on embedded forces with those nations with whom UK forces are embedded on operations, and to my letter of 6 January 2016 explaining that I am unable to specify the exact locations of UK personnel because this risks their personal security and the security of Allies' operations.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-08/21610/PersonnelUK
14 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 21 July 2015 to Question 8367, how many UK troops are embedded in (a) Syria, (b) Lebanon, (c) Libya, (d) Yemen, (e) Turkey and (g) USA.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, in which countries British military personnel are embedded.
Mary Creagh, Labour, Wakefield I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 17 December 2015, (Official Report, column 98WS) which sets out that we only centrally collate data on embedded forces with those nations with whom UK forces are embedded on operations, and to my letter of 6 January 2016 explaining that I am unable to specify the exact locations of UK personnel because this risks their personal security and the security of Allies' operations.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-06/21238/Embedded PersonnelUK
6 January 2016To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to integrate the use in military operations of unmanned vehicles in the air, at sea, and on land.Lord Kennedy of Southwark, LabourUnmanned vehicles already play an important role in UK Armed Forces' operations across all environments. On the basis of the Government's National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review of November 2015, the Department is continuing to examine where unmanned systems may offer advantages over manned alternatives and to invest in new unmanned capabilities. For example, the Department is more than doubling the number of armed remotely piloted aircraft available to the UK Armed Forces under the Protector programme to replace the existing Reaper aircraft, and is also developing high-end technologies - including in collaboration with France and the US - under a future Unmanned Combat Air System programme.

Throughout the Department's development and integration of unmanned systems, the policy is that a human must always be responsible for any decisions on targeting.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-12-21/HL4751/MilitaryUK
5 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents his Department has recorded of drones operating over prison estates in the last year for which figures are available; what steps his Department took following each such incident; and if he will make a statement.Tim Loughton, Conservative, East Worthing and ShorehamIf an incident involving a drone occurs, prisons will invoke appropriate contingency plans and will work alongside the police and CPS to ensure those responsible are caught. NOMS are exploring research options with the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) on detection and mitigation technology for drones.

There were 30 reported drone related incidents between 1 December 2014 and 30 November 2015. This includes drone finds and drone sightings by prison staff in and around public and private prisons in England and Wales.

Individual prisons will invoke the appropriate contingency plan relevant to the circumstances of the incident involving a drone. This includes, for example, working with the police and CPS to ensure those responsible for an incident involving a drone are caught and, if appropriate, prosecuted.

These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Andrew Selous, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-16/20357/Civil UseUK
5 January 2016To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the oral contribution of the Foreign Secretary of 16 December 2015, on Daesh: Syria/Iraq, if he will take steps to assess whether there have been civilian casualties as a result of UK airstrikes in Iraq and Syria through means other than receipt of reports.Andrew Slaughter, Labour, Hammersmith We analyse the risks involved in any potential strikes in advance in order to minimise risks to civilians. Once a mission is launched, our aircrew assess and minimise risks prior to weapons being released. Every strike is subjected to careful post-mission scrutiny to confirm the aircrew's assessment, allowing us to examine in detail any claim of civilian casualties. We would publish any report which concluded that civilian casualties had resulted from UK military action.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-17/20596/MilitaryIraq and Syria
23 December 2015Shadow Spokesperson (Housing), Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what use the Royal Navy is making of unmanned vehicles.
Lord Kennedy of Southwark, LabourThe Royal Navy (RN) recognises that autonomous systems offer a unique opportunity to maintain our operational advantage, and benefits significantly from the use of unmanned vehicles in both air and sea environments.



The Scan Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System offers enhanced maritime surveillance and improved situational awareness in support of the RN in a number of operational theatres.



The Hunt Class Mine Countermeasure Vessels employ an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) for remote mine-disposal known as the Seafox mine-disposal system. In addition, the Fleet Diving Squadron employs a small UUV for seabed searches.



The RN continues to explore how autonomous systems can further augment its capabilities into the future.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-12-17/HL4736/MilitaryUK
21 December 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government which intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance air vehicles from the RAF’s inventory have been deployed over Iraq and Syria in the last three months.Lord Moonie, LabourIn the last three months the RAF has deployed Sentinel and Airseeker aircraft and the REAPER MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Air System over both Iraq and Syria. In addition, Tornado GR4s have deployed over Iraq and Syria fitted with the Raptor tactical reconnaissance pod.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-12-16/HL4658/MilitaryIraq and Syria
21 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions (a) RAF Reapers, (b) RAF Tornados and (c) other RAF aircraft have come into radar contact with Russian military aircraft inside Syria since 30 September 2015.Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford EastWe do not routinely collect information on radar contacts. It is inevitable when operating in the same airspace as other nations that RAF aircraft will come into radar contact with those nations. This is one of the ways in which the RAF, as part of the US-led coalition, ensures safe-separation of aircraft in Syrian airspace and enables the UK to continue to fly missions to help degrade and destroy Daesh.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-14/19866/MilitarySyria
21 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the fitness-for-purpose of the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Nuclear Installations) Regulations 2007 and their applicability to technical developments for unmanned aerial vehicles since their coming into force in 2007.Paul Flynn, Labour, Newport WestThe airspace over UK nuclear licensed sites is restricted by the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Nuclear Installations) regulations 2007. These impose restricted airspace of a radius between 0.5 and 2 miles to a height of between 1000 and 2400 feet around the centre of all nuclear sites. Airspace usage in the UK is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Therefore it is a criminal offence to fly in the vicinity of nuclear sites without the permission of the CAA. The CAA and nuclear sites work closely together on this.



All of Britain’s nuclear power stations are robust and designed with safety in mind and are stress-tested to withstand a vast range of potential incidents. The independent regulator continuously monitors and evaluates the safety of each plant alongside the operator to protect it from outside threats.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-15/20272/MilitaryUK
18 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Reaper drones are currently deployed in (a) Iraq and (b) Syria.Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party, Argyll and Bute To safeguard operational security I am withholding operational information on the number of RAF Reaper aircraft deployed.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-10/19519MilitaryIraq and Syria
17 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from Thales have been handed over to the British Army.Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford EastAs at 15 December 2015, 37 Watchkeeper Unmanned Air Vehicles have been delivered by Thales and accepted by the Ministry of Defence. Of these, 10 are currently held by the Army to meet its current flying training programme and readiness requirements. The remainder are either being used for flight trials at West Wales Airport, or being stored and maintained until required by the Army.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2015-12-14.19865.h&s=unmannedMilitaryUK
17 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK combat aircraft are flying combat missions against ISIS in (a) Syria and (b) Iraq.Angus MacNeil, Scottish National Party, Na h-Eileanan an IarThe UK has 16 manned combat aircraft flying combat missions against Daesh in both Syria and Iraq. This number includes RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft. There are also a number of RAF Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) deployed to the Middle East that are flying combat missions in both Iraqi and Syrian airspace.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-14/19892/MilitaryIraq and Syria
15 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many remotely piloted aircraft system pilots are employed in the RAF; and if he will make a statement.Jim Cunningham, Labour, Coventry SouthThere are currently 40 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System pilots in the Royal Air Force.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-09/19382/MilitaryUK
15 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK Reaper supporting the US drone strike on Mohammad Emwazi in Syria on 12 November 2015 (a) used its laser designator capability to identify the target and (b) was armed.Yasmin Qureshi, Labour, Bolton South EastI am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-07/18886/MilitarySyria
15 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what level of UK support has been negotiated for the Rivetjoint platforms; and if he will make a statement.Madeleine Moon, Labour, BridgendA Memorandum of Understanding with the US Government provides for the in-service support and upgrade activity of the UK Rivet Joint fleet. All maintenance support is conducted in the UK by RAF personnel, with assistance from field service representatives provided under the US/UK cooperative agreement. Some minor support activity is also provided by UK contractors based at RAF Waddington and there are contracts with a number of UK companies that support the Ministry of Defence in managing compliance with UK safety, airworthiness and security regulations.
Philip Dunne, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-12-09/19428/PolicyUK
8 December 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many manned and unmanned sorties have been flown by the RAF this year in support of operations in the Middle East.Lord Moonie, LabourThe RAF has flown 1,490 manned and 828 unmanned sorties in support of operations in the Middle East from 1 January 2015 to 30 November 2015. These sorties were carried out by ISR aircraft, C-130 transport aircraft, Tornado GR4s and Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems.

These numbers do not include the routine air-bridge that operates twice weekly from the UK to the Middle East to support deployment of personnel and equipment.
Earl Howe, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-12-01/HL4135/MilitaryMiddle East
3 December 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK sought permission from the government of Syria to deploy manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft over Syria before he made his Statement to the House on 21 October 2014. Paul Flynn, Labour, Newport WestNo. This activity is conducted as part of the international counter-ISIL/Da'esh Coalition in the self-defence of the UK and the collective self-defence of Iraq, under article 51 of the UN Charter, against the direct threat from ISIL's heartland in Syria.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-11-26/18002/MilitarySyria
23 November 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans for UK personnel to train at or otherwise attend the new General Atomics unmanned aircraft business park being built in North Dakota.Yasmin Qureshi, Labour, Bolton South EastA number of options are being developed to meet the training demand for UK Reaper aircrew in the coming years. It is anticipated that initial training for some UK student aircrew will be conducted under contract by General Atomics at their North Dakota facility.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-11-17/16740/MilitaryUK
20 November 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the NATO Members User Group for MQ-9 Reaper drones last met; and whether he attended that meeting.Martin Docherty, Scottish National Party, West DunbartonshireThe last meeting of members of the MQ-9 Users Group took place 2 - 4 June 2015 at US Air Force Base Wright Paterson, Ohio. The UK party was led by the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Force Commander and consisted of representatives from the Royal Air Force.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-11-16/16342MilitaryNATO
19 November 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to manage the risks posed to passenger aircraft by drones flown by private individuals.Lord Glentoran, ConservativeMy Lords, the Government are working with the CAA to develop a comprehensive education campaign on drone safety, and are talking to airports and the manufacturers and retailers of drones about the steps that can be taken to minimise the likelihood of negligent airspace incursions.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Transport) (Jointly with the Home Office)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/151119-0001.htmCivil UseUK
18 November 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many referrals to the RAF mental health care system from members of 13 and 39 squadrons there have been each month over the last year.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchDuring Financial Year 2014-15, there were fewer than five Regular Royal Air Force personnel from 13 Squadron or 39 Squadron who were seen for an initial assessment at Ministry of Defence Specialist Mental Health Services.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-11-09/HL3463MilitarySyria
18 November 2015To ask Her Majesty's Government what domestic legislation they consider to be relevant to the lethal operation of Reaper drones in Syria from RAF Waddington.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchThe UK conducts all its military operations in accordance with international law (including International Humanitarian Law) and members of HM Armed Forces are subject to the criminal law of England and Wales at all times.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-11-09/HL3463MilitarySyria
18 November 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the 20 new "Protector" drones to be procured under the Scavenger Programme will be the General Atomics certifiable Predator B or any other model or variant.Baroness Stern, CrossbenchNo decision has yet been made on the choice of platform to meet the Protector (formerly Scavenger) requirement. This will be determined as part of the main investment decision, which is scheduled for 2016.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-11-09/HL3462MilitaryUK
16 November 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many drones carrying contraband goods have been seized within prison grounds in each of the last three years.Luciana Berger, Labour, Liverpool Wavertree There were no reported incidents of drones carrying contraband being seized within prisons in 2013; in 2014 there were two reported incidents; and between 1 January 2015 and 31 October 2015 there were eight reported incidents.
This Government has made it a criminal offence under the Prison Act 1952 to throw, or otherwise project, any article of substance into prison without authorisation. This includes the use of a drone.
These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
Andrew Selous, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-11-09/15648Civil UseUK
5 November 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the costs of infrastructure improvements at RAF Waddington were in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15.Douglas Chapman, Scottish National Party, Dunfermline and West Fife The costs of infrastructure improvements at RAF Waddington in each financial year from 2010-11 to 2014-15 are shown in the following table:




Financial Year

Grand Total


2010-11

£1,494,929.99


2011-12

£2,794,486.46


2012-13

£2,503,485.61


2013-14

£1,044,565.26


2014-15

£18,857,704.44


Grand Total

£26,695,171.76




The significant increase in Financial Year 2014-15 is due to the Waddington boiler replacement work, the upgrade of Single Living Accommodation, and the start of the construction phases of the reconstruction and resurfacing of the runway and hangar refurbishments.

Mark Lancaster, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-28/13889/PolicyUK
29 October 2015To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2015 to Question 12154, for what reasons he did not refer to any legal basis in domestic law during (a) his oral statement of 4 September 2015, Official Report, column 23 and (b) the Answer of 14 September 2015 to Question 9571; and if he will describe the legal basis in domestic law used for the targeted killing of British citizens outside declared war zones; and if he will make a statement.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton PavilionI have nothing further to add.
David Cameron, Prime Minister
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-22/13070/MilitarySyria
23 October 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor the use of drones in UK airspace.Jim Shannon, DUP, StrangfordThe Civil Aviation Authority keeps a record of all the permissions they have issued to fly commercial drones in UK airspace. However this does not extend to leisure users of drones. To address this issue The Department for Transport is currently looking at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public. We intend to consult on all of these issues and other possible solutions in 2016.
Robert Goodwill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-19/12485/Civil UseUK
19 October 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any individuals other than those expressly intended to be the target of the RAF drone attack carried out in Syria on 21 August 2015 were killed or injured; and if he will make a statement.Catherine West, Hornsey and Wood GreenI refer the hon. Member to the Statement my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister (David Cameron) made in the House on 7September 2015 (Official Report, columns 23 to 27).
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-09/10722/MilitarySyria
19 October 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the legal basis was for the RAF drone attack carried out in Syria on 21 August 2015; and if he will publish the original legal guidance on which the decision to carry out the attack was made.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenThe Prime Minister made clear that the Attorney General had advised that the action we took would be lawful in self-defence of the UK. By long-standing convention, reflected in the Cabinet Manual, the content of the Law Officers' advice is not disclosed outside government without the consent of the Law Officers. As the Attorney General explained in his oral evidence to the Justice Select Committee on 15 September 2015, the convention should be adhered to in this case.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-09/10721/MilitarySyria
19 October 2015Some recent reports suggest a higher incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder in pilots of remotely piloted aircraft compared with that of conventional air crew. Will the Minister advise what steps are being taken to assess relative levels of PTSD and to address the reasons for any differences that are established?Kirsten Oswald, Scottish National Party, East Renfrewshire I thank the hon. Lady for raising that important question. Just because someone is not deployed to a desert and is not in front of the people whom they are confronting directly, it does not mean that they are invulnerable to the things they see or to what we ask them to do. Our support for those people is very similar to that of conventional deployments. They have decompression and a pre-deployment build-up. Embedded in those teams are mental health specialists who can advise, support and assess the individuals.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46PolicyUK
19 October 2015Does the Minister agree that there is concern about the rules of engagement that terrorists might use? There is no doubt that, increasingly, drones will be used by terrorists. Once the technology exists it will not only be in the hands of people of whom we approve, and what will we do about that?
Barry Sheerman, Labour/Co-op, HuddersfieldI am pleased to reassure the hon. Gentleman that we recognise that emerging threat and that there is a clear strand of work in the SDSR that is looking at counter measures for the situations he describes.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46PolicyUK
19 October 2015 I voted against air strikes on the Syrian Government and would appreciate clarification from the Minister on whether drone strikes will be authorised on any other country where she believes that there is a similar threat to our security?
Stephen McPartland, Conservative, StevenageAgain, I draw my hon. Friend’s attention to the Prime Minister’s statement that, if there is a clear threat to Britain, to our people and to our streets and we are able to stop it by taking immediate action against that threat, we will always try to take that action. The action we took in Syria was legal, necessary, proportionate and in response to a clear, credible and specific threat to the UK. I reassure him that that course of action is taken only in the last resort.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryGlobal
19 October 2015What the rules of engagement are for the use of remotely piloted aircraft by the armed forces.Craig Williams, Conservative, Cardiff NorthThe rules of engagement for remotely piloted aircraft systems are the same as those for manned aircraft, and take into account UK and international law, following the principles of military necessity, humanity, distinction and proportionality. A rules of engagement profile is developed for each operation, including counter-terrorist operations, and these rules are classified to ensure that they cannot be exploited to an opponent’s advantage.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryGlobal
19 October 2015The Defence Committee’s report in March last year on the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems stressed that we follow international humanitarian law and the international law of armed conflict. However, we did not use our RPAS to conduct strikes in Pakistan against those who implied threats to our armed forces. What has changed in the rules of engagement that we now feel that we can use our RPAS in Syria to target British nationals?Madeleine Moon, Labour, BridgendAs the Prime Minister has clearly stated—he came to the House at the earliest occasion after that event—we reserve the right to use force if it is necessary to protect the UK from a clear and imminent threat. In that very clear statement, the Prime Minister said that if British lives are in danger and we can act to prevent that, then we will.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryGlobal
19 October 2015Following the drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan, will the Minister tell us whether there is in existence a list of individuals who are considered such a great risk to Britain that they can be targeted for killing by UK drones?
Kevin Brennan, Labour, Cardiff WestAgain, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Prime Minister’s statement. If that set of circumstances exist and we can act to save British lives, then we will do so.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryGlobal
19 October 2015 I wish to build on the point that my hon. Friend the Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) just made. Will the Minister confirm that, unlike what we have seen from Russian military intervention in Syria, our rules of engagement are very strict and seek to avoid civilian casualties where they can?Craig Williams, Conservative, Cardiff NorthAbsolutely; the UK undertakes all possible measures to protect civilians and ensures that UK targeting policy and rules of engagement provide clear direction for commanders. I will leave it to my hon. Friend to consider whether Russia follows similar practices, given the reports from Syrian search and rescue volunteer teams stating that 707 civilians have been injured and 274 killed by Russian strikes and regime bombing since 30 September.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryGlobal
19 October 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian casualties were recorded as a result of drone strikes in 2014.Catherine West, Hornsey and Wood GreenThere were no known incidents of civilian casualties from UK Remotely Piloted Air System strikes in 2014.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-13/901611/MilitaryIraq
19 October 2015I thank my hon. Friend for her answer. In response to an earlier question, the Secretary of State rightly explained the advantages of using remotely piloted aircraft, particularly in protecting our own forces. Members on both sides of the House will, however, have some concern about the use of these aircraft by our allies where collateral damage has occurred and innocent people have been hurt. What assurance can she give the House that there will be great protection for those not involved in the conflict?
Michael Fabricant, Conservative, LichfieldI agree entirely that we have a moral duty to protect the lives of our servicemen and women in very unpredictable and difficult operational environments, and the use of these systems means we can do that without placing them in harm’s way. I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the crews of these systems, who do a tremendous job in many places around the world. I assure my hon. Friend that although these aircraft are remotely piloted, at every stage of the targeting process and its initiation a human being is making those decisions. We have a record to be very proud of in terms of civilian casualties.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151019/debtext/151019-0001.htm#151019-0001.htm_spnew46MilitaryUK
16 October 2015: To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Oral Statement by the Prime Minister on 7 September 2015, Official Report, column 26, on what dates he was consulted on the legal basis for drone strikes in Syria.Brendan O'Hara, Scottish National Party, Argyll and ButeI refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the questions from the Hon. Member for Brighton Pavilion on the 12th of October 2015: (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-16/10466/)
Jeremy Wright, Attorney General
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-13/11558/MilitarySyria
15 October 2015To ask the Attorney General, what the full legal basis was for the RAF drone attack carried out in Syria on 21 August 2015; if he will arrange publication of the original legal guidance on which the decision to carry out the attack was made; and if he will make a statement.Catherine West, Labour, Hornsey and Wood GreenI refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the questions from the Hon. Member for Brighton Pavilion on the 12th of October 2015: (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-16/10466/
Jeremy Wright, Attorney General
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-10-09/10720/MilitarySyria
12 October 2015To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral statement of 7 September 2015, Official Report, column 30, on counter-terrorism, whether he held discussions or received representations from other government lawyers on the legal basis for the military action against Reyaad Khan in Syria.
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Prime Minister's oral statement of 7 September 2015, Official Report, column 30, on counter-terrorism, whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's legal adviser was consulted on the legal basis for the military action against Reyaad Khan in Syria.
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Statement by the Prime Minister of 7 September 2015, on Syria: Refugees and Counter-terrorism, Official Report, column 30, what the legal basis was for the targeted killing of British citizens by remote control drone in Syria.
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Statement by the Prime Minister of 7 September 2015, on Syria: Refugees and Counter-terrorism, Official Report, column 30, what the legal basis was for the targeted killing of British citizens by remote control drone in Syria.
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Prime Minister's Oral Statement of 7 September 2015, Official Report, column 30, whether the legal advice provided on the targeted killing of British citizens by remote control drone in Syria covers future targeted killings of UK citizens or if new and separate advice will have to be sought for any future such killings.
Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton PavilionThe Prime Minister gave a detailed statement on 7 September 2015 in which he informed the House that I was consulted on the action and was clear that there would be a legal basis for action in international law. By long-standing convention, reflected in the Cabinet Manual, the content of the Law Officers’ advice is not disclosed outside government without the consent of the Law Officers. As I explained in my oral evidence to the Justice Select Committee on the 15th September (HC 409), the convention should be adhered to in this case.
Jeremy Wright, Attorney General
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-16/10451/MilitarySyria
23 September 2015Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of collaboration between his Department and UK defence companies in developing an independent UK unmanned aerial vehicles' capacity; and if he will make a statement.Our policy remains to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment and support they need, at the right time, and at a cost that represents value for the taxpayer. For the majority of our requirements, this is best achieved through open competition on the global market. As such, the Ministry of Defence collaborates with both UK and overseas defence companies on the development, production and support of current and future Unmanned Air Systems capabilities, based on individual user requirements.
Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-15/10325
MilitaryUK
21 September 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people were killed during the drone strike on Raqqa on 21 August.Lord Ahmed, Non-affiliatedAs my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to the House on 7 September, Reyaad Khan was killed in a precision air strike carried out in Raqqa on 21 August by an RAF remotely piloted air system. In addition to Reyaad Khan, two ISIL fighters were also killed.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-09-08/HL2082/MilitarySyria
18 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether legal advice on the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle against Reyaad Khan included consideration of the legal basis of the killing of people travelling with or in the vicinity of that person in the course of that military action.Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West The Attorney General's advice remains confidential but he advised that the action we took would be lawful. The UK's Armed Forces operate in accordance with domestic and international law.
Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-10/9835
PolicySyria
18 September 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any civilians were killed in the drone strike on Raqqa on 21 August.Lord Ahmed, Non-affiliatedMy right hon. Friend The Prime Minister confirmed in his statement to the House on 7 September that there were no civilian casualties resulting from the precision air strike in Raqqa on 21 August 2015.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-09-08/HL2083/MilitarySyria
18 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether legal advice on the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle against Reyaad Khan included consideration of the legal basis of the killing of people travelling with or in the vicinity of that person in the course of that military action.Paul Flynn, Labour, Newport WestThe Attorney General's advice remains confidential but he advised that the action we took would be lawful. The UK's Armed Forces operate in accordance with domestic and international law.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-10/9835/MilitarySyria
18 September 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government what legal authority they obtained before conducting the drone attack in Syria that was announced on 7 September.Baroness Tonge, Independent Liberal DemocratMy right hon. friend the Defence Secretary authorised this operation. The Attorney General was consulted in advance and advised that there would be a clear legal basis for action in international law.
Earl Howe, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-09-08/HL2081/MilitarySyria
17 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what rules of engagement his Department has developed for strikes using unmanned aerial vehicle systems against terrorist targets in states against which the UK is not at war other than Syria; and if he will make a statement.Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Northern IrelandThe UK's Reaper Remotely Piloted Air Systems operate under the same Rules of Engagement (ROE) as manned aircraft. UK ROE comply with UK and International Law.
Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-10/9887
StrategySyria
17 September 2015May I again urge the Leader of the House to ask the Attorney General to come to the House to explain the legal advice that led to a fundamental departure in UK policy, when two British nationals were targeted and killed by an RAF drone attack in Raqqa? This is particularly important now, given that in the past few days the explanation of the legal grounds for that move have become ever more murky.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton PavilionThe Prime Minister has explained in detail to the House the reasons for his decisions, and he will provide more information in confidence, as is normal, to the new Chairman and members of the Intelligence and Security Committee. It has always been customary practice when either party has been in power, and in the legal world, that legal advice is not published but a matter of privilege between a lawyer and a client. That is how Governments have always operated and how they will continue to operate. The difference in this place is that both the Prime Minister and the Attorney General are regularly before the House for scrutiny, and the hon. Lady will have opportunities to put questions to them.
Chris Grayling, Leader of the House
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm150917/debtext/150917-0001.htm#150917-0001.htm_spnew155MilitarySyria
17 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance his Department gave to the Pakistani Armed Forces during recent unmanned aerial vehicle operations in that country.Douglas Chapman Scottish National Party, Dunfermline and West Fife The Ministry of Defence has had no involvement in Pakistan's development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-09/9705
StrategyPakistan
16 September 2015To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Statement by the Prime Minister of 7 September 2015, on Syria: Refugees and Counter-terrorism, Official Report, column 30, what the legal basis was for the targeted killing of British citizens by remote control drone in Syria.Caroline Lucas, Green, Brighton PavilionThe Prime Minister gave a detailed statement on 7 September 2015 in which he informed the House that I was consulted on the action and was clear that there would be a legal basis for action in international law. By long-standing convention, reflected in the Cabinet Manual, the content of the Law Officers’ advice is not disclosed outside government without the consent of the Law Officers. As I explained in my oral evidence to the Justice Select Committee on the 15th September (HC 409), the convention should be adhered to in this case.
Jeremy Wright, Attorney General
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-16/10466/MilitarySyria
15 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor the usage of and (b) prevent accidents involving unmanned drones in airspace over the UK.Jim Shannon DUP, Strangford The Government recognises that this emerging technology has great opportunities for the UK. However the Government is aware that there are safety and security issues that need to be addressed.

The Civil Aviation Authority has recently launched a publicity campaign called "You have control. Be safe! Be legal!’’  which is aimed at raising awareness of the general public, at the point of purchase, about their responsibilities as the unmanned aircraft operator.

The Government is currently talking to industry partners about the development of an online application to track and manage small drones. The Government has received several proposals for such an application, but the development of this technology is still at an embryonic stage.

The Government is also in early discussions with international partners about a drone traffic management system, and it is hoped that those discussions will lead to UK involvement in the development of that system and the participation of UK industry in future trials to test the robustness of the technology. Some drones are already equipped with ‘geo-fencing’ to prevent operation in controlled airspace.

There will be a public consultation on drones in spring 2016. This will give the public a chance to engage on these, and other, important issues concerning drones.
Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-08/9437
PolicyUK
15 September 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to authorise the sale in the United Kingdom of anti-drone ammunition for use in 12-gauge shotguns.Lord Blencathra ConservativeThere are currently no plans to authorise the sale of such ammunition in the United Kingdom. However, any ammunition which is armour-piercing is prohibited under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968.
Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-09-08/HL2097
PolicyUK
15 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what public funding has been allocated to support the Astrea programme; what applications for funds for that programme his Department has received and under which Government programmes; and what plans he has for future funding of that programme.Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has provided grant support of £32M to support three programmes; ASTRAEA 1 and 2 and 3A since 2006.

In 2015, the ASTRAEA consortium applied for additional support for a £55M collaborative programme via the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), requesting a £26M grant. The application was not approved.

We continue to work with the ASTRAEA consortium and the wider Unmanned Air Vehicle community on how best to support the development of this market and will consider requests for funding support that deliver value for money for the UK.
Jo Johnson Minister of State (Universities and Science)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-07/9234
PolicyUK
14 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has compiled a list of people for targeted killing outside Iraq.Tom Watson, Labour, West Bromwich East The Prime Minister and I are ready to take military action as a last resort to prevent an imminent terrorist attack on the UK.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-08/9654/MilitaryGlobal
14 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the risks posed by unmanned drones to prison security; and what steps he is taking to protect against drones dropping contraband material into prisons.Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West The National Offender Management Service continues to assess the developing risk posed by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’. All prisons have local contingency plans to respond to incidents including drones.

The previous Government introduced legislation which prohibits the “projection” of any item into prison by any means, including by a drone. Prisons work with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute perpetrators, where appropriate.
Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-04/8567
PolicyUK
11 September 2015To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will devise and disclose a distinct UK drones and targeted killing policy as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East The 2015 National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review, informed by the National Security Risk Assessment, are considering a wide range of risks and threats including terrorism, and responses. We cannot speculate on the outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Oliver Letwin Minister for Government Policy http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-08/9637
PolicyUK
11 September 2015To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will devise and disclose a distinct UK drones and targeted killing policy as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.Tom Watson, Labour, West Bromwich East The 2015 National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review, informed by the National Security Risk Assessment, are considering a wide range of risks and threats including terrorism, and responses. We cannot speculate on the outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-09-08/9637/MilitaryGlobal
10 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment has been made of the implications for his Department's policies of the increase in the number of privately owned drones and its effects on safety for civil aviation.Jim Fitzpatrick Labour, Poplar and Limehouse The Government recognises that this emerging technology has great opportunities for the UK. However the Government is aware that there have been a few incidents that have caused some concerns to other commercial air traffic.

The Civil Aviation Authority has recently launched a publicity campaign called "You have control. Be safe! Be legal!’’ which is aimed at raising awareness of the general public, at the point of purchase, about their responsibilities as the unmanned aircraft operator.

In addition to this a cross-government working group is currently engaged in a piece of work that is looking at the risks posed by drones to commercial civil aviation. The results of this work will inform our understanding of the scale of the problem and what steps need to be taken to mitigate these risks
Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-20/7971Civil UseUK
8 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of February 2015 to Question 222681, what licences have been issued since 1 January 2010 to UAV Engines Ltd for equipment other than UAV engines or components for exports for the use of the Israeli Defence Force or other elements of Israel's security forces; and on what date each such licence was issued.Jeremy Corbyn Labour, Islington North No licences have been granted to UAV Engines for equipment other than UAV engines or components for exports for the use of the Israeli Defence Force or other elements of Israel’s security forces since 1 January 2010.

All export licences are issued in strict accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.
Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
PolicyIsrael
7 September 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the contribution of the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield of 15 July 2015, Official Report, column 887, what his policy is on deployment of armed drones outside of designated war zones; and if he will make a statement.Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East The decision to deploy aircraft is taken by Ministers after an assessment has been made on the effect that is required, together with the nature and location of the operation. The policy for the deployment of armed remotely piloted aircraft systems is the same as that for manned aircraft. Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces) http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-17/7838
PolicyUK
27 July 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government what capabilities the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers will have for launching and retrieving drones and other remotely piloted aircraft systems when they enter service with the Royal Navy; and what they are currently intended to be fitted with at that time.Lord Moonie, Labour The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers have an extensive flight deck and hangar and engineering support facilities, which could be utilised to operate and sustain drones and other remotely piloted aircraft systems in the future.

The Royal Navy and Joint Forces Command continue to investigate maritime autonomous systems through the evaluation of Capability Concept Demonstrators.
Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-07-20/HL1670
MilitaryUK
20 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has established an Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Communications team.David Anderson Labour, BlaydonThe Directorate of Defence Communications (DDC) is responsible for the Ministry of Defence's corporate communications; including on the subject of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The DDC is supported by policy leads and subject matter experts from across the Department.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-14/7064PolicyUK
20 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the use of unmanned remotely piloted aircraft systems as part of future UK defence capability; and if he will make a statement.Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are proving their value to Defence in a range of operations around the world. As part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the MOD is considering the case for further investment in RPAS capability. It is currently too early to determine the outcome of this work.http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-14/7105MilitaryUK
20 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the locations are of the seven ground control stations used for control of his Department's 10 Reapers.Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East The Reaper ground control stations are located at RAF Waddington, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada and the Middle East in support of the international coalition's ongoing operation to counter the threat of ISIL.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-08/6287MilitaryUK
16 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has employed unmanned aircraft (a) in and (b) around the UK to support counter-terrorism efforts.Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East No unmanned aircraft systems belonging to the Ministry of Defence have been used to support counter terrorism operations in or around the UK. Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-08/6286MilitaryUK
16 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of his Department's budget has been allocated to the use, development or procurement of unmanned systems.Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East In the last financial year, some £310 million was spent by the Ministry of Defence on the development, procurement and use of unmanned systems. This represents approximately 0.9% of the defence budget for the year.
Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-08/6236MilitaryUK
14 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has established an Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Communications team.David Anderson, BlaydonThe Directorate of Defence Communications (DDC) is responsible for the Ministry of Defence's corporate communications; including on the subject of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The DDC is supported by policy leads and subject matter experts from across the Department.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-14/7064/MilitaryUK
14 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has undertaken or commissioned any assessment of the psychological effect of using unmanned air vehicles.David Anderson Labour, BlaydonThe Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes seriously the mental health of all members of the Armed Forces. The RAF Stress Management and Resilience Training Team has delivered stress awareness briefs to units operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to give personnel awareness of the subject and make them aware of the wide range of assistance and treatment that is available.

While the particular stressors of their work are recognised, an assessment of the referral figures for MOD Departments of Community Mental Health from 2009-13 indicated that UAV pilots were no more likely to present with any form of mental health condition than the general Armed Forces population.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-09/6481MilitaryUK
14 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what psychological (a) assessment and (b) support his Department offers to the operators of UK Reaper Squadrons 39 and 13.David Anderson Labour, BlaydonThe Ministry of Defence takes seriously the psychological and physical health of all Armed Forces personnel. The RAF Reaper remotely piloted air systems force, alongside other frontline forces, has robust trauma risk management strategies in place to ensure this is continually monitored. Should psychological or physical care be required, the RAF medical services are fully engaged to provide the required level of support to the individual. Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces) http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-09/6451MilitaryUK
13 July 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many jobs have been created in the UK by the French-Israeli Thales/Elbit Joint Venture for Watchkeeper.Richard Burgon Labour, Leeds East The Watchkeeper air vehicle is manufactured by UAV Tactical Systems Ltd, a joint venture between Elbit Systems UK and Thales UK, under a sub-contract from Thales UK, the Watchkeeper prime contractor. The Ministry of Defence has no direct commercial relationship with UAV Tactical Systems Ltd and no estimate has therefore been made of the number of persons employed by the company. The wider Watchkeeper supply-chain sustains high-quality jobs at a number of locations across the United Kingdom.
Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-07-08/6259EconomicUK
25 June 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many British-controlled military unmanned aerial vehicles are currently operating within the Arabian Peninsula.The Marquess of Lothian, Conservative The Scan Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) offers enhanced maritime surveillance and is used to provide situational awareness to Royal Navy ships deployed to the Arabian Peninsula. In addition, a number of Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are currently operating in the Middle East in support of the Iraqi Government and International Coalition's ongoing operation to counter the threat of ISIL.

Regardless of asset type or location, it is departmental policy not to confirm specific numbers of equipment platforms deployed on operations. Therefore, I am withholding the exact number of UAS/RPAS deployed on operations to safeguard operational security.
Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-06-18/HL628MilitaryArabian Peninsular
17 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the communications system supporting UK Reapers utilises the US Predator Primary Satellite Link and relay station at Ramstein airbase, Germany.Tom Watson, LabourI am withholding the information, as disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces and relations between the United Kingdom and other states.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-06-09/1522MilitaryGermany
16 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department will lead the joint French-UK Reaper training; and where that training will take place.Tom Watson, LabourWe routinely discuss with France our respective ISTAR capability requirements, including with regards to Reaper. However, no decision has been made on leading joint Reaper training, nor on where any training might take place.
Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-06-09/1521MilitaryFrance
15 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether France has requested the deployment in Africa of any UK Reapers or other unmanned aerial systems.Tom Watson, LabourWe routinely discuss with France our respective operational deployments, including those of Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition Reconnaissance (ISTAR) assets, in those parts of the world where both UK and French Forces are engaged. But we have received no formal French request for deployment of Reaper or other UK unmanned aerial systems in Africa.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-06-09/1516MilitaryFrance
3 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on establishing a Joint Command for Unmanned Aerial Systems.Tom Watson, LabourOwing to the particular capabilities that each Unmanned Aerial System delivers and the different environments in which they work, operational Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are controlled by Air, Army, and Navy Commands and there is no plan to establish a Joint Command for UAS.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-05-27/132PolicyUK
2 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support the UK is providing to the Iraqi government to counter Islamic State.Vernon Coaker, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence The UK is operating as part of a global coalition of over 60 countries - including Iraq, Arab nations, European partners and the US, to defeat ISIL. The UK is playing a leading role in the coalition, with around 800 personnel in the region helping to counter ISIL.

The UK have conducted the second highest number of strikes in Iraq, behind the US and is providing significant critical enablers in the form of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and air to air refuelling capabilities that few other nations possess. We are also providing eight Tornado GR4 Aircraft and a number of Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles contributing to precision strike and ISR.

Within the coalition's training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces, the UK is co-ordinating Coalition counter-IED (C-IED) training with a small planning team in Baghdad and some 30 military trainers based in Erbil. The UK has trained over 1,100 Iraqi forces in infantry skills and in the use of the UK-gifted heavy machine guns. As well as providing niche C-IED and Infantry Skills trainers, we have also trained 108 Peshmerga in our Protection of Civilians training course.
Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-05-27/86MilitaryIraq
1 June 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 23 February 2015 to Question 224466, whether the Strategic Defence and Security Review will address the issues identified in Joint Doctrinal Note 2/11, the UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems.Tom Watson, LabourWork has begun on the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Review will consider the changing international and domestic security environment and assess what defence capabilities will address the threats we face.
Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-05-27/279StrategyUK
26 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) Watchkeeper and (b) other unmanned aerial vehicles belonging to his Department were operated outside designated airspace in connection with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.Tom Watson, LabourNo. Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defencehttp://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-24/228911PolicyUK
26 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222433, on Syria, whether UK Reapers in Syria are conducting (a) pattern of life analyses, (b) collateral damage estimates and (c) battle damage assessments.
Tom Watson, LabourWhile operating over Syria, UK Reapers conduct a range of surveillance tasks. No UK Reaper missions have been conducted in Syria other than for surveillance purposes. Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Stte for Defencehttp://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-24/228913StrategySyria
26 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2015 to Question 226256, on RAF Croughton, what the dates were of the (a) Host Nation Notification and (b) Host Nation Response made in connection with the European Infrastructure Consolidated Review.
Tom Watson, LabourFollowing a period of consultation, Host Nation Notification in connection with the European Infrastructure Consolidated Review was received on 7 January 2015 and responded to on the same day.
Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-24/228912PolicyUK
18 March 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many armed sorties have been carried out by United Kingdom forces, and what ordnance has been released, over Syria in each of the last three months.Lord Moonie, LabourThe only armed UK aircraft operating in Syria is the Reaper, Remotely Piloted Air System. The UK Reaper has not released any weapons over Syria as no authority has been granted for the discharge of weapons from UK Reaper aircraft operating in Syrian airspace.

Reaper Operations in Syria
Month
Missions Flown
December 2014
9
January 2015
8
February 2015
8
Lord Astor of Hever Conservative
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-03-10/HL5582MilitarySyria
18 March 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many armed sorties have been carried out by United Kingdom forces, and what ordnance has been released, over Iraq in each of the last three months.Lord Moonie, LabourThe UK has deployed two types of armed aircraft in the operation against ISIL; the Tornado GR4 and the Reaper, Remotely Piloted Air System. The GR4 is armed with Paveway IV Mark 2 and Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone. The Reaper MQ9 is armed with the Hellfire Missile.

GR4 and Reaper Operations in Iraq
Month
Missions Flown
Weapons Released
December 2014
91
55
January 2015
109
64
February 2015
101
31
Lord Astor of Hever Conservative
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-03-10/HL5581MilitaryIraq
16 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if his Department will introduce a compensation scheme for civilian casualties in Iraq.
Tom Watson, LabourHolding answer received on 04 February 2015
When targeting ISIL terrorists we do all we can to minimise the risk of causing casualties among the civilian population. Overall, the air campaign in Iraq is being conducted with precision and we do not believe that there have been any civilian casualties arising from UK actions. We are currently in discussion with our coalition partners with a view to agreeing a mechanism for tracking, reporting, investigating and responding to allegations of civilian casualties. Responses to individual allegations will vary according to circumstances.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222465PolicyIraq
16 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2015 to Question 219723 and to his oral contribution of 23 February 2015, Official Report, column 11, on ISIL, if he will ensure that his Department's online record is updated to include data on each strike referred to in that contribution; and if he will provide information on the (a) date, (b) location and (c) aircraft deployed to carry out each strike.Tom Watson, LabourAs I stated in my written answer of 2 March 2015 in response to question 219723, our policy on the disclosure of information regarding air strikes by Royal Air Force aircraft engaged on Operation Shader is that the overriding principle is to seek to place information on each strike in the public domain in a prompt and timely manner. To this end, the Ministry of Defence regularly updates appropriate details of strikes against ISIL-related targets, including the specific aircraft type, on the 'gov.uk' website. The site also contains monthly summaries since the start of the operation.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-10/227077MilitaryIraq
11 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222433, whether data obtained from (a) UK Reaper missions and (b) coalition partner missions in Syria is analysed at RAF Marsham as part of Project Crossbow.Tom Watson LabourData from UK Reaper missions is not currently analysed at RAF Marham by CROSSBOW. Data from coalition partner missions in Syria and Iraq is analysed when tasked to do so. Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-04/226252MilitarySyria
11 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2015 to Question 224123, on unmanned air vehicles, which person or team in his Department has lead responsibility for the application and deployment of UK remotely piloted aircraft systems in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq, (c) Syria and (d) the MQ-9 User Group.Tom Watson, LabourThe deployment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence, as is UK attendance at the MQ-9 Users Group.

Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-04/226251PolicyMiddle East
10 March 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether and where they have deployed military unmanned aerial vehicles in the last six months.
The Marquess of Lothian ConservativeUK Armed Forces used a variety of Unmanned and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (UAS/RPAS) on Operation HERRICK in Afghanistan. All of these systems were redeployed from Afghanistan by 31 December 2014. In October 2014, UK Reaper RPAS were deployed to the Middle East to support the Iraqi Government and coalition allies' ongoing operation to counter the threat of ISIL.

Over the last six months Scan Eagle UAS has also been used to improve the situational awareness of Royal Navy ships at sea.
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-02-24/HL5185PolicyGlobal
10 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2015 to Question 222466, what requests for (a) authorities and (b) consultations have been made to his Department in connection with (i) the European Infrastructure Consolidated Review and (ii) RAF Croughton in the last year.Tom Watson LabourThe US European Infrastructure Consolidation Review, which also considered the future of RAF Croughton, was primarily a US national analysis of options for their basing footprint in Europe. However, consultation was conducted with Ministry of Defence stakeholders throughout this process.
Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-03-04/226250PolicyUK
2 March 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's policy on the disclosure of information concerning lethal strikes in Iraq.Tom Watson LabourHolding answer received on 15 January 2015
Our policy on the disclosure of information regarding air strikes by Royal Air Force aircraft engaged on Operation Shader in Iraq is that the detail of each individual strike is carefully considered against the necessary constraint of maintaining operational security, but our over-riding principle is to seek to place information on each strike in the public domain in a prompt and timely manner.

This is consistent with, and a continuation of, Ministry of Defence practice for any operational information. It reflects the necessity for the Armed Forces of a democracy such as the UK not just to conduct military operations in a highly disciplined, careful and proportionate manner within the rule of law, but to demonstrate transparency and accountability for such activity. The need for this is all the more important when the military operations are being conducted against a terrorist organisation such as ISIL which wholly disregards the rule of law and relies on a perverted ideology and deceitful propaganda. This policy has been followed ever since the start of air strike operations in support of the Iraqi authorities, following the Parliamentary vote on 26 September. The primary channel for publishing this information is the Government website http://www.gov.uk, and the information thus disclosed has been regularly reported in the British and international media.

Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-05/219723MilitayIraq
27 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222434, what consideration his Department has given to deployment of the UK Reapers in storage for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in Iraq.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastAs with all platforms and capabilities not deployed on operations, the deployment of additional Reaper aircraft currently in storage in the UK is kept under constant review.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-10/224117MilitaryIraq
26 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222435, what the name and date was of the agreement pursuant to which five personnel from Squadron 329 are on loan service to US Forces.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastUK loan service (LS) personnel assisting the United States Air Force are covered by the terms of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (1949), the US-UK Chapeau agreement (1993), the US-UK Provision of medical support agreement (2014), and US-UK discussions to determine working-level arrangements. LS personnel are subject to UK Service regulations; they are administered and receive pay and allowances from the UK.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2015-02-10.224116.h&s=speaker%3A11309#g224116.q0a>International Co-OperationUSA
26 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what research her Department has undertaken on access of civilian victims of drone strikes in Afghanistan to civilian compensation schemes administered by troop contributing nations.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastAccess to civilian compensation schemes is a Ministry of Defence lead. There is a system in place for handling all claims for compensation brought against the Ministry of Defence by Afghan civilians.
Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-11/224259StrategyAfghanistan
26 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department will assess (a) the effect of drone strikes on civilian populations and (b) access to civilian compensation schemes as part of its humanitarian mission in Iraq and Syria.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastWe are monitoring the impact of military operations on civilian populations in both Iraq and Syria and ensuring our humanitarian response is targeted to those most in need. To date, the UK has pledged £800 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the region, and a further £39.5 million to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Access to civilian compensation schemes is an MoD lead and therefore does not form part of our humanitarian mission.
Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-11/224261PolicyIraq
25 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2015 to Question 222435, what the (a) rank, (b) function and (c) location is of the five personnel from the UK Reaper Force on loan service to US Forces.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastThere are four Flight Lieutenant Instructors at 49th Operations Group, Holloman Air Force Base. There is also one Flight Lieutenant at 53rd Test and Evaluation Group, Creech Air Force Base in a test and evaluation role. None of the five personnel on loan are conducting operational mission flying.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-10/224115MilitaryUSA
24 February 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many United Kingdom military air sorties were carried out in Iraq over the last two years in January; and how many of those resulted in the firing of weapons or dropping of bombs.
The Marquess of Lothian ConservativeThe UK has deployed two types of armed aircraft in the operation against ISIL; the Tornado GR4 and the Reaper, Remotely Piloted Air System. As at 31 January 2015, these aircraft have flown 374 missions and released 206 weapons against ISIL targets in Iraq.
Lord Astor of Hever Conservative
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-02-09/HL4814MilitaryIraq
24 February 2015To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether in the last month there have been any United Kingdom military air sorties against targets in Syria or any which have involved incursions into or overflying of Syrian airspace.
The Marquess of Lothian ConservativeThe only UK air asset operating in Syria is the Reaper, Remotely Piloted Air System. In the month of January 2015 this aircraft conducted eight surveillance missions in Syria. No UK Reaper have discharged weapons in Syrian airspace.
Lord Astor of Hever Conservative
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-02-09/HL4815MilitarySyria
23 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether a research analyst is advising his Department on the deployment of remotely piloted aircraft systemsTom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastNo. Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairshttp://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-10/224123PolicyUK
23 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which post or team in his Department is responsible for the application of remotely piloted aircraft systems.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastThere is no one person or team responsible for the application or deployment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The decision to deploy RPAS is taken by Ministers following advice provided by senior personnel, both military and civilian, across the Department.
Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-10/224127PolicyUK
23 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Strategic Defence and Security Review will address the issues identified in Joint Doctrinal Note 2/11, the UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich EastThe next Strategic Defence and Security Review will be a matter for after the General Election.
Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-12/224466PolicyUK
12 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel applicable to the passing of intelligence relating to individuals who are at risk of targeted lethal strikes. David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
The Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees has been published online: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62632/Consolidated_Guidance_November_2011.pdf
Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-09/223784PolicyUK
12 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will give a direction under section 59A of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 that the Intelligence Services Commissioner review the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel applicable to the passing of intelligence relating to individuals who are at risk of targeted lethal strikes.
David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenI refer my right hon. Friend to my answer of 16 Oct 2014 to (PQ 209539).
Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-09/223785MilitaryUK
12 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department takes to monitor compliance with the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel applicable to the passing of intelligence relating to individuals who are at risk of targeted lethal strikes.
David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and HowdenThe independent Intelligence Services Commissioner oversees compliance with the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel on the Detention and Interviewing of Detainees Overseas, and on the Passing and Receipt of Intelligence Relating to Detainees and reports annually on those aspects for which he has responsibility. His role in this regard was put on a statutory footing in November 2014. Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-09/223782PolicyUK
12 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what training his Department has provided to service and other personnel on the Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel applicable to the passing of intelligence relating to individuals who are at risk of targeted lethal strikes.
David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden
It is the longstanding policy of successive governments not to comment on intelligence matters. This includes matters relating to the training of Intelligence Service personnel.
Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-09/223783PolicyUK
9 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) scale and (b) result is of recent air operations against ISIL.Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative)Holding answer received on 05 February 2015


There are some 60 nations involved in the coalition and over a dozen in ongoing air activity over Iraq and Syria. The UK has deployed two types of armed aircraft in the operation against ISIL; the Tornado GR4 and the Reaper, Remotely Piloted Air System. As at 31 January 2015, these aircraft have flown 392 missions and released 206 weapons against ISIL targets. The UK have also provided other aircraft to perform surveillance, air refuelling and air transport roles. In concert with Iraqi and Kurdish ground units, coalition air activities have helped to check ISIL's advance and in some places begun to reverse that advance.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-02/222901MilitaryIraq
9 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the Armed Forces will participate in training at the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington each year.Kevan Jones (Shadow Minister (Defence); North Durham, Labour)This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The daily maximum capacity of the Air Battlespace Training Centre (ABTC) is dependent on the type of exercise taking place. Records on the exact numbers of personnel attending training are held by individual units and not by the ABTC.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-03/223057MilitaryUK
9 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether any licences have been granted to UAV Engines Ltd since 1 January 2010 for the export of UAV engines or components to (a) the Israeli Defence Force or (b) other elements of Israel’s security forces; and if he will make a statement.Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Labour)I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark) on 10 October 2014, UIN 207373.

No licences have been granted for unmanned aerial vehicle engines for use by the Israeli Defence Force or other elements of Israel’s security forces since 2010.
Matthew Hancock (Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills); West Suffolk, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-29/222681International Co-OperationIsrael
9 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of the Armed Forces' annual personnel training requirements will be provided at the Air Battlespace Training Centre at RAF Waddington.Kevan Jones (Shadow Minister (Defence); North Durham, Labour)The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-03/223058MilitaryUK
5 February 2015To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions have taken place in the National Security Council of measures to protect (a) nuclear facilities and (b) other strategic national infrastructure from unmanned aerial vehicle attacks in (i) 2014 and (ii) 2015.Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
David Cameron (The Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-02-03/223039StrategyUK
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2015 to Question 220012, how many RAF personnel are deployed in Afghanistan; and what the (a) rank, (b) squadron and (c) function is of each RAF officer stationed in that country.Tom Watson, LabourAs at 2 February 2015 there were 19 RAF personnel in Afghanistan. The rank and function of each are shown below. Only those supporting the Op TORAL Aviation Detachment are deployed as part of a formed unit, which in this case is 27 Squadron from RAF Odiham.

Number and Rank Function
Five x Flight Lieutenant Pilots Op TORAL Aviation Detachment
Two x Flight Lieutenant
Engineer Officers Op TORAL Aviation Detachment

Three x Flight Lieutenant/Squadron Leader Command Elements of Op TORAL Aviation Detachment
One x Flight Lieutenant Aeromedical Evacuation Liaison Officer
Two x Squadron Leader Staff Appointments Headquarters Resolute Support
One x Wing Commander Staff Appointment Headquarters Resolute Support
Three x Squadron Leader Staff Appointments Headquarters Commander British Forces Afghanistan
One x Wing Commander Advisor Afghan Ministry of Defence
One x Air Commodore Staff Appointment Headquarters Resolute Support
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222429MilitaryAfghanistan
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his French counterpart concerning the deployment of UK Reapers in support of Operation Barkhane.Tom Watson, LabourAs a close ally, discussions regularly take place with France, both bilaterally and through NATO, on Defence matters, these can include capability issues such as Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. However, to date there have been no specific discussions regarding the deployment of UK Reapers in support of Operation Barkhane.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222428MilitarySahel
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on sharing intelligence information to counter terrorism in Europe.Jeffrey M Donaldson (Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change); Lagan Valley, DUP)Holding answer received on 29 January 2015
We do not comment on intelligence matters.
Michael Penning (The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice; Hemel Hempstead, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-26/222021International Co-OperationGlobal
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the US sought permission from his Department for consolidation at RAF Croughton following that country's European Infrastructure Consolidated Review.Tom Watson, LabourThe European Infrastructure Consolidation review recommendations were subject to a period of consultation with the Host Nations. Anna Soubry (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Broxtowe, Conservative)http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222466International Co-OperationUS
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 70W, and with reference to Regulatory Article 1600, published by the Military Aviation Authority on 19 January 2015, whether his Department will fly remotely piloted aircraft systems in the UK outside danger areas or segregated airspace.Tom Watson, LabourThe Ministry of Defence is working with other Government Departments and authorities, including the Civil Aviation Authority, as part of a wider cross-Government initiative to determine the feasibility of operating both civilian and military remotely piloted aircraft systems beyond line-of-sight and in un-segregated airspace.
Philip Dunne (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; Ludlow, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222430PolicyUK
4 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if his Department will introduce a compensation scheme for civilian casualties in Iraq.Tom Watson, LabourThe Ministry of Defence has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222465PolicyIraq
3 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2015, Official Report, column 687W, whether his Department is carrying out a strategic review of the use and effects of remotely piloted air systems in Afghanistan following the end of combat operations in that country.Tom Watson, LabourHolding answer received on 02 February 2015


We have learnt a variety of lessons on the operation of the UK's Air assets (including Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) through their use in Afghanistan. We will want to look at lessons that can be learned from the campaign more broadly, but our recent focus has been on a successful drawdown from the ISAF Combat mission and transition to the NATO Resolute Support Mission. No decision has yet been taken on a wider review of combat operations in Afghanistan.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222432StrategyAfghanistan
2 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2015 to Question 220792, whether any personnel from Squadron 39 are currently embedded with US forces.Tom Watson, LabourThere are currently five personnel from the UK Reaper Force on loan service to US Forces in an instructional and test and evaluation role. They are based in the US but are still under UK administration.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222435MilitaryUS
2 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2015 to Question 220793, for how long his Department intends to store Reapers in the UK.Tom Watson, LabourNo decision has been taken on how long the Reapers will be stored in the UK. Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222434PolicyUK
2 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2015, to Question 220027, if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference agreed at the meeting of the NATO Reaper MQ-9 Users Group.Tom Watson, LabourOnce all four MQ-9 Users Group participant nations have formally signed off the group's Terms of Reference and agreed to their public release, a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222431MilitaryGlobal
2 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Written Statement of 21 October 2014, Official Report, column 63WS, on the Middle East, how many UK Reaper aircraft are conducting missions in Syria; and whether authorisations have been sought for any missions by those aircraft other than for surveillance.Tom Watson, LabourNo UK Reaper missions have been conducted in Syria other than for surveillance purposes. No authority has been granted for the discharge of weapons from UK Reaper aircraft operating in Syrian airspace. I am withholding information on the number of UK Reaper aircraft conducting missions in Syria as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.
Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222433StrategySyria
2 February 2015To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2015 to Question 220792, whether his Department has identified any defect in the Reapers returned to the UK.Tom Watson, LabourNo. Mark Francois (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; Rayleigh and Wickford, Conservative)http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-01-28/222427MilitaryUK
29 January 2015To ask the