Skip to main content

British Warships

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received from the Spanish Government in respect of British and NATO warships patrolling the straits of Gibraltar. [117496]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional security measures have been taken by British warships visiting foreign ports (a) on entry and (b) when alongside; and what arrangements are made with host countries. [117497]

The safety of our people and assets remain of paramount importance. Effective force protection for Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships visiting foreign ports is provided by a combination of internal and external security measures. The latter is the responsibility of the host nation with whom our Attaches and Fleet Security authorities liaise closely to ensure that adequate security measures, commensurate with the perceived threat, are put in place. Ultimately, a visit may be cancelled if it is considered that the risks outweigh the benefits to be gained from Defence Diplomacy. Measures vary considerably with the perceived threat but have included armed patrol vessel escorts to berths, booms placed around the ship, armed guards on the jetty and controlled access to the port and the ship. I am withholding precise information under Exemption 1 (Defence, security and International affairs) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.