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Anglo-French Battle Groups

Volume 459: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the status is of the proposed UK/French/German Battle Group referred to in the answer of 27 February 2004, Official Report, column 614W, on Anglo-French battle groups; and if he will make a statement. (135418)

There are no plans to form a UK/French/German Battle Group, nor have there been in the past.

The UK, France and Germany have however been instrumental in developing the EU Battlegroup concept, which achieved full operational capability in January 2007. EU Battlegroups are small, mobile self-sustaining forces (approximately 1,500 troops) intended for rapid intervention in a crisis, typically in response to a UN request. There are two EU Battlegroups on standby at any time. The UK provided a national Battlegroup on standby during the first half of 2005 and will do so again in 2008. With the Netherlands we have also offered an amphibious Battlegroup in 2010. Each Battlegroup will be on standby for a period of six months.