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New Regiments (2006-07)

Volume 548: debated on Monday 16 July 2012

13. What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the unification of the new regiments created in 2006-07 where battalions were created from previous historical regiments; and if he will make a statement. (116903)

The Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, the Yorkshire Regiment, the Mercian Regiment, the Royal Welsh and the Rifles were all created in 2006-07. All these regiments have provided battalions for operations in Afghanistan which have been well prepared and which have delivered significant success, as well as all taking significant casualties.

My right hon. Friend will understand the disappointment in Yorkshire at the disappearance of 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment—the Green Howards—but can he confirm whether his intention is to have a completely merged Yorkshire regiment in its entirety with the two remaining battalions, which I understand is what the majority of those serving would like to see, or to have the two remaining battalions based on their previous regimental backgrounds, which it seems the majority of retired personnel would like to see?

My hon. Friend draws an interesting distinction—not the only one that has been brought to my attention—between the desires of people serving in the Army now and those of former members of the armed forces, because they are not necessarily aligned. I can only repeat what I told the House on 5 July: having announced the changes, we expect regiments to come forward with proposals for restructuring within the boundaries we have announced. We will support decisions made within the regimental families to do that, whichever way they propose going.