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EU Battlegroup

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the cost to his Department was of certifying the UK EU Battlegroup for July to December 2008; (207375)

(2) what the expected cost to his Department is of providing the UK’s commitment to the EU Battlegroup in July to December 2008.

The UK commitment to the EU Battlegroup roster for July to December 2008 will be met by forces from the Small Scale Focused Intervention Battlegroup (SSFIBG) element of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF). As this is a national high readiness contingency which is already on standby during the relevant period, there is no additional cost to the UK of providing an EU Battlegroup on standby.

There would be additional costs to the UK were the Battlegroup to deploy. However, an EU Battlegroup is a standby commitment intended for emerging contingencies and it is impossible to predict at the current time whether or not it will be deployed during its standby period. The cost to the UK of deploying an EU Battlegroup would depend on the nature and length of any deployment.

The UK Battlegroup is certified nationally to standards which incorporate and exceed the Standards and Criteria for EU Battlegroups. Other enablers taken from the JRRF also meet these standards. The only cost of certification therefore are the negligible administrative costs associated with the formal notification to the EU that the UK contribution is of sufficient standard, and the administration costs associated with hosting the EU Battlegroup observers day to Exercise Druid’s Dance on 12 May. Hosting the observers’ day is not a requirement of EU Battlegroup certification but is encouraged in the EU Battlegroup concept to help share best practice amongst EU member states.