[News] Questions to the Defence Secretary, 2 September 2.30pm

DOT

Old-Salt
#1
Question Time will be streamed live on Parliament.tv Player (Silverlight or Windows Media Player required to stream TV)


Questions to the Defence Minister
To take place at 2.30pm on Monday 2 September following prayers. Oral questions to the Secretary of State for Defence


The questions drawn for Monday’s question time focus on topics including:

  1. Trident
  2. Reserves Forces
  3. Syria, Afghanistan and the Middle East
  4. Training
  5. Procurement and Equipment
At 3.15pm: Topical Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence
Topical questions will last for 15 minutes. During the 'topical questions' slot, MPs can ask supplementary questions on any subject relating to the department's responsibilities.


The full list of questions can be found at Business Today: Chamber for Monday 2 September 2013

Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available three hours after they happen in Today's Commons debates - UK Parliament


Which topics being discussed today are you most interested in hearing the response to?
 

DOT

Old-Salt
#3
The responses to questions are now available online. for those who might like to have a look please go to House of Commons Hansard Debates Index for 2Â*SeptemberÂ*2013

For those questions which could not be answered within the 1-hour Question Time (questions 18-24) please see the written answers: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 02 Sep 2013 (pt 0002)

The Defence Minister answered many questions including topical questions (all of which can be found in the Hansards links above). A few of which are included in posts below in full in case they are of interest to members:
 

DOT

Old-Salt
#4
Topical Question 2:
Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) (Con): In July the Secretary of State announced that the Territorial Army centre in Stratford-on-Avon would close and made assurances, through a Minister, that tenants of the centre, such as the local ambulance association, would not be left homeless. The Minister also made assurances that the facilities would be provided for the local cadets and that recruitment to the historic 867 Signal Troop based there would not be negatively impacted. Two months on, could the Minister update my constituents and me about plans for the New Broad street centre?

The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr Andrew Robathan): I can tell my hon. Friend—who is quite right to be concerned about these things, and I understand his constituents’ point of view—that the long-term future of the centre in Stratford-on-Avon has yet to be determined and that there will be re-provision for any cadet units and any lodging units when that happens. We have yet to decide what the wider defence uses might be for the site. If there is no long-term defence use for the site it will be disposed of in accordance with standard procedures, but without, I hope, any bad impact on the cadets or other lodging units.

Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) (Lab): A leading commentator in Australia recently characterised the Syrian conflict as not “goodies versus baddies”, but rather “baddies versus baddies”. Does the Secretary of State share that simple assessment of our political and military dilemma?

Mr Philip Hammond: Simple assessments of complex situations rarely paint the whole picture, but the hon. Gentleman has a point. The opposition is not a single, homogenous force. There are various elements within it, some of which are deeply unpleasant in their objectives and methods.
 

DOT

Old-Salt
#5
Topical Question 3.
Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Old Southwark) (LD): Following the answer to the first topical question and in the light of last Thursday’s decision, what conflict-resolution role does the Secretary of State envisage for our troops based either in Cyprus or more widely in the middle east and north Africa region?

Mr Philip Hammond: As I have made clear, we accept the will of Parliament that there will be no British military involvement in any action against Syria. That does not mean that we are not continuing to press for a diplomatic solution and for the convening of the Geneva peace conference to try to reach a negotiated transition in Syria. No one has yet suggested that any such transition would involve any military role for the UK. Until such a conference convenes and makes progress, any such question is purely hypothetical.

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): Why was the intelligence document published by President Obama on Friday so much more comprehensive, detailed and compelling than the one the Secretary of State published just the day before? If the Secretary of State was not in possession of the same information, which I find difficult to believe, why did he not wait until he could put all of the facts before this House, instead of forcing Members to make a decision when it was too soon and we were not in possession of the facts?

Mr Hammond: First of all, I did not publish a document. The chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee wrote to the Prime Minister summarising the judgment of the UK intelligence community. That was done in an atmosphere in which we were extremely conscious of the parallels with Iraq 2003 and extremely cautious about presenting any argument to Parliament that relied or depended on intelligence information that we could not publish or produce. I think we made the right judgment in presenting our argument cautiously, relying only on information that was available and could be examined by Members of the House of Commons.
 

DOT

Old-Salt
#6
Topical Question 7:
Graham Jones (Hyndburn) (Lab): When will the Government make a decision on the number of F-35s that will be procured as part of the arrangement with Lockheed Martin, and is the Minister able to guarantee that the work-share allocation for the United Kingdom and BAE Systems will not be reduced in the future?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Dunne): I can confirm that it is our intention, in the remaining months of this year, to place our first order for the first operational squadron of joint strike fighters. As far as the work-share component is concerned, as long as other countries maintain their orders and we maintain ours, we intend to retain the 15%.
 
#7
Question Time will be streamed live on Parliament.tv Player (Silverlight or Windows Media Player required to stream TV)


Questions to the Defence Minister
To take place at 2.30pm on Monday 2 September following prayers. Oral questions to the Secretary of State for Defence


The questions drawn for Monday’s question time focus on topics including:

  1. Trident
  2. Reserves Forces
  3. Syria, Afghanistan and the Middle East
  4. Training
  5. Procurement and Equipment
At 3.15pm: Topical Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence
Topical questions will last for 15 minutes. During the 'topical questions' slot, MPs can ask supplementary questions on any subject relating to the department's responsibilities.


The full list of questions can be found at Business Today: Chamber for Monday 2 September 2013

Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available three hours after they happen in Today's Commons debates - UK Parliament


Which topics being discussed today are you most interested in hearing the response to?
Why will our aircraft carriers operate an aircraft with a smaller payload, less range and no interoperability with our allies?
 

DOT

Old-Salt
#8
Why will our aircraft carriers operate an aircraft with a smaller payload, less range and no interoperability with our allies?
Hi AfghanAndy

With regards to this question – we can only refer you to questions recently asked by MPs around STOVL aircraft within the Chamber and in written questions.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft:
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) current and (b) future armaments in the UK inventory will be able to be used in the Joint Strike Fighter's (i) internal weapons bays and (ii) external pylons.

Mr Dunne: The current weapons within the UK inventory that will be able to be used on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are a combination of internal and external loads consisting of:

  • Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM);
  • Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM);
  • Paveway IV.
Future integration of weapons from the UK inventory is subject to negotiation and agreement with the F-35 programme.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ability of the Joint Strike Fighter 35B to land vertically with a full armaments load.

Mr Dunne: The F-35B is currently within the development test phase of the overall programme, and as such the ability to land vertically with a full payload is under assessment. Ship-borne Rolling Vertical Landing is also being developed as an additional manoeuvre to maximise the number of unexpended weapons that the F-35B is able to recover to the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier.
Military Aircraft
Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) (Con): I understand that a Fleet Air Arm pilot recently landed an F-35 on an American aircraft carrier. Will my right hon. Friend please confirm that, and also update the House on the implications of any effect last Thursday’s vote had on training with the Americans?

Mr Philip Hammond
: As my hon. Friend says, I am delighted to confirm that a British-piloted F-35B—the short take-off and vertical landing version of the F-35 aircraft—has completed a successful landing on USS Wasp, which was, I think, off the coast of Virginia. We have a programme of embedded UK pilots training with US navy marines on those aircraft. Progress is good on that programme, and we expect the first squadron of aircraft to come to the UK fully formed in 2018, with pilots who have been trained and prepared in the United States.
And direct you to the Public Accounts Select Committee's recently published report examining the Carrier Strike programme:
Public Accounts Committee publish Carrier Strike report - News from Parliament - UK Parliament

While we cannot answer your question we hope this information proves useful?
Best wishes

DOT
 

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