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Defence

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 3 May 2018

EU Defence: Permanent Structured Co-operation

The following is an extract from European Committee A on EU Defence: Permanent Structured Co-operation on 26 April 2018.

We are clear that PESCO should strengthen the relationship with NATO and promote an open and competitive European defence industry, from which the UK will potentially benefit. As the hon. Gentleman knows, 17 projects have been proposed. We are particularly interested in the Dutch-led infrastructure project. [Official Report, European Committee A, 26 April 2018, c. 10.]

Letter of correction from Mark Lancaster:

An error has been identified in my speech in European Committee A on 26 April 2018.

The correct response should have been:

We are clear that PESCO should strengthen the relationship with NATO and promote an open and competitive European defence industry, from which the UK will potentially benefit. As the hon. Gentleman knows, 17 projects have been proposed. We are particularly interested in the Dutch-led military mobility infrastructure project.

The following is an extract from European Committee A on EU Defence: Permanent Structured Co-operation on 26 April 2018.

There is no direct comparison between the MPCC and NATO. It is not an operational headquarters. On scale, just to start, the established posts of the co-ordination cell for the three training missions number 35 posts, of which I understand currently just 12 are filled. With 12 posts filled, that does not have the feel to me of an organisation that is challenging NATO for operational control of EU missions. There are already five nationally-led operational missions. Once we leave the EU, it is not for us to dictate to our European partners how they wish to see this go forward, but given that only 12 of 35 posts have been filled by our EU colleagues, I do not sense that there is a massive drive to move it forward. [Official Report, European Committee A, 26 April 2018, c. 13.]

Letter of correction from Mark Lancaster:

An error has been identified in my speech in European Committee A on 26 April 2018.

The correct response should have been:

There is no direct comparison between the MPCC and NATO. It is not an operational headquarters. On scale, just to start, the established posts of the co-ordination cell for the three training missions number 35 posts, of which I understand currently just 23 are filled. With 12 posts gapped, that does not have the feel to me of an organisation that is challenging NATO for operational control of EU missions. There are already five nation operational headquarters provided by member states. Once we leave the EU, it is not for us to dictate to our European partners how they wish to see this go forward, but given that only 23 of 35 posts have been filled by our EU colleagues, I do not sense that there is a massive drive to move it forward.