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United States Visiting Forces: Contingent Liability

Volume 612: debated on Thursday 7 July 2016

I have today laid before Parliament a departmental minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence has received approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury to recognise a new contingent liability associated with potential redundancy payments to civil servants currently located at RAF Mildenhall, RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth, which are scheduled for closure under the United States Visiting Forces European Infrastructure Consolidation review.

In January 2015 the United States Department of Defence communicated their decision to withdraw from RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury with the activities undertaken there being consolidated at RAF Croughton. Additionally, they also announced their withdrawal from RAF Mildenhall. Currently, US plans are not yet sufficiently mature to say definitively when these stations will close.

There are approximately 470 MOD civil servants employed at these three stations. While staff will be supported in seeking to secure alternative employment in the Civil Service it is likely that some civil servants will be made redundant. The responsibility for the provision of redundancy payments is split between the UK and the US. I can advise you that Her Majesty’s Treasury have agreed a contingent liability of up to £6 million.

I can assure you that all MOD civil servants who are affected by these base closures will be managed in accordance with the MOD Civil Service terms and conditions and will be provided with advice and support to make decisions about their future.