Results 1–20 of 5000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Bill Rammell

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Improvised Explosive Devices (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: All our deployed personnel in Afghanistan are equipped for the tasks that they are asked to undertake. This includes a range of protected vehicles, including the Mastiff and the Ridgback, which offer world-leading protection against improvised explosive devices. Comprehensive training is provided prior to deployment and on arrival, and a very large part of that training concentrates on IED...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Improvised Explosive Devices (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: No, I cannot and will not give that detailed information because if I do that publicly, I give it not only to the hon. Lady and our media, but to our enemies in the form of the Taliban. What I can say is that nothing has been given a higher priority in our efforts in Afghanistan than countering improvised explosive devices. That is why we established a 200-strong force last April and why, as...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Iran (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: We keep the security threat posed by Iran under continual review. Iran possesses conventional military capability that is both defensive and offensive in nature. We also remain concerned about Iran's intentions with regard to its nuclear programme. Iran should be under no illusion that without progress in addressing the international community's concerns tougher sanctions will be imposed.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Iran (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: A substantive offer of engagement has been made by the international community, which has been led, in particular, by the President of the United States. I regret that Iran has failed yet to embrace that offer of engagement. Iran needs to be in doubt that this is a matter of serious and real concern for the international community and that if there is not movement and engagement on the part...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Iran (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: There is a strong case for the missile shield, which is why the Government have supported the technology; the threat that the Secretary-General outlined, and to which my right hon. Friend refers, is one of the reasons for that.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Iran (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: On long-range search and rescue, the introduction of the MRA4 means that there will be substantially more capable aircraft than the MR2 in the RAF's fleet. In the period of transition until the MRA4 enters service we intend to use other assets, as available, in a long-range search and rescue role. The reason we take the decisions that we do is because we are responsible for these budgets and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (Poppy Cultivation) (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: The UK is supporting alternative livelihoods programmes in Afghanistan, which provide practical advice and support to farmers, to enable them to move away from poppy cultivation. In Helmand, we are supporting Governor Mangal's counter-narcotics plan, which distributes wheat seed, fertiliser, saplings and seeds for summer crops, and the establishment of an agricultural school. Pomegranates are...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (Poppy Cultivation) (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I know that the hon. Gentleman has taken a real interest in this issue and I agree with him that there cannot be an exclusively military solution in Afghanistan-there has to be a political one, too. In respect of the particular proposal to which he is referring, James Brett, the founder of the charity POM354, met my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for International Development. At...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (Poppy Cultivation) (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I genuinely disagree with my hon. Friend. I think that if we followed the path that he is advocating, in circumstances in which it is not possible to provide security across the board, we would simply be creating a second market for poppy cultivation. That is why-across government, with our international partners and supporting the Afghan Government-we must create an environment in which it...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I agree with that assessment. We are in regular discussion with partners in the Gulf states, and I think that there is a strong degree of consensus. We need fundamentally to understand that if Iran were able to go ahead and develop nuclear capability, it would inevitably invite a response from other countries in the region, and the last thing we need in the middle east is a nuclear arms race.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (29 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I reiterate to the hon. Gentleman what I said earlier: the MRA4 will bring a substantial enhancement of capability, and in the transition period until the MRA4 enters service we intend to, and will, use other assets, as available, in the long-range search and rescue effort.

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: It is an unusual experience for a Minister of State responding to such a debate to begin his speech with 55 minutes remaining. I hasten to add that I will not take that length of time for my summing up. In general terms, we have had a good and well informed debate. I pay tribute to all those heroic men and women who have lost their lives in recent years serving our national interest. We are...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State rightly pointed out, there was a staggering 10.24 per cent. cut in 1995-96. Before I give way, let me make it clear that we will not take lectures from the Opposition on defence spending.

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: Just as Oppositions make statements and claims, Governments have the responsibility to act, and this party and this Government have acted in the defence of our overall armed forces. The Conservative party did not do so. Despite the rhetoric of the shadow Secretary of State, in his calmer moments there has been some candour on these issues. I came across an interview that he gave back in...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: The public expect us to be judged on our record, and in the past three years we have increased our flying-hour capacity and the number of helicopters by 100 per cent. The Merlins recently arrived in theatre, and we have further commitments and plans to increase those numbers. My right hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham (Mr. MacShane) has apologised to me, because, owing to a family...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I genuinely have the most enormous respect for the military, and I work with them daily. I know that many serving military officers are concerned about an impression of the politicisation of the military, and that is not in the interests of any party in this House or, I believe, our armed forces.

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: I reiterate that I have the greatest respect for the military, and I know that among many personnel there is concern about politicisation of the military. That is not in anyone's interests, and it is certainly not in the interests of our armed forces. The hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey), who leads for the Liberal Democrats, commented on the elections in Iraq and on the violence,...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: The hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but that is the reality, and that is why Members across the House reached the conclusions that they did in the debate on the White Paper. I listened to what he said about the Liberal Democrat position on Trident, and I was no wiser at the end of his comments than I had been at the beginning. The hon. Gentleman gave a critique of our funding record on...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: A strategic defence review is not just a matter for the military and the MOD, just as our Green Paper was not solely an MOD matter. There have to be consultations and discussions right across Government, and foreign policy will inform that debate intrinsically and directly. My hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Alison Seabeck) spoke strongly about families, and I pay tribute to...

Defence in the World (15 Mar 2010)

Bill Rammell: As my hon. Friend made clear before the Select Committee, there has been a reconfiguration of the programme. That is what he was describing, and if the right hon. Gentleman looks at the record, he will see that that is what my hon. Friend said. As I said, there is will be an announcement very shortly-


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