Results 1–20 of 2283 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Mark Lancaster

Fatalities in Northern Ireland and British Military Personnel — [Sir David Amess in the Chair] (25 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Buck. I remind the House of my interest as a member of the Army Reserve, although Northern Ireland is one of the few places where I have not seen operational service. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) for his Committee’s thoughtful report on a sensitive and complex issue, and for...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Dorries, and I declare an interest as a serving member of the Army reserve. I confirm that I have no intention of resigning from the Army reserve, as that would not help numbers at all. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Leo Docherty) on securing this important and timely debate. It follows a number of other...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The hon. Gentleman makes a perfectly reasonable point. There have clearly been challenges, and to suggest otherwise would be entirely wrong. I am particularly interested in recruitment, and I think that this package of measures will be the right thing. I firmly take on board what was said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex, and we should try to move toward a blend of measures....

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: That was one of the issues, to be fair. There is a genuine feeling that on a matter of such importance the statement should be made at the right time on the right day, when there will be maximum opportunity for hon. Members to quiz the Secretary of State; but nothing should be read into the timing. The hon. Gentleman has alluded to one of the potential problems, and that is the nature of...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Should I give way? Well goodness me, I am a generous soul. I hope that will be a lesson to the hon. Gentleman.

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It is not for me to offer a lesson in the development of grand strategy, but in my training it was always all about ends, ways and means. We are attempting to establish the ends: what are we seeking to do? Clearly we seek to counter the threats that the UK faces. As to means, effectively people always focus on the capabilities that we have. That has been one of the challenges that we have...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: That is not what I am saying at all. To be fair to my boss, the Secretary of State, he has made a strong case for greater investment in defence; and that negotiation will continue. However, before I get into lots of trouble by pre-empting what he will say in the statement shortly, I ask right hon. and hon. Members to indulge me with their patience. They will have the opportunity to ask all...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Certainly, a division, by definition, because of the orchestra of capabilities that it brings to the battlefield, and its ability to fight at various geographical locations, must be of a certain size. To correct a comment that was made earlier, the Conservative manifesto commitment was to maintain armed forces at their current size, and be able to field a division. That is our commitment, to...

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

British Armed Forces: Size and Strength — [Ms Nadine Dorries in the Chair] (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It was a very good-natured debate, but the Scottish National party can never resist. What assessment has he made of retention given that 45% of service personnel in Scotland will be paying a higher rate of tax than their equivalents in England?

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The Government are committed to increasing our maritime power to project our influence across the world and promote national prosperity. Growing for the first time in a generation, we will spend £63 billion on new ships and submarines over the next decade. We are also committed to increasing the number of personnel in the Royal Navy.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: In my previous role, I was responsible for the better defence estate strategy. I can confirm that it remains the intention to dispose of the Royal Citadel and Stonehouse in 2024 and Chivenor in 2027, and to provide units for the Royal Marines in either Plymouth or Torpoint. I cannot confirm exactly what form that will take at this stage, as further work is required, but I will update the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am sorry to have to disappoint the hon. Gentleman, but I can only repeat what has already been said: the Government take the security of our nation incredibly seriously. I think it is far more important to ensure that the review is robust, comprehensive and detailed than to rush to make announcements simply to appease the hon. Gentleman.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for highlighting the very sad passing of Commander Rick Jolly. He was indeed an absolute legend, and the service that he provided in the Falklands is worth reading about. It is unique to have been given awards for gallantry by both the United Kingdom and the Argentine forces. I also note my right hon. Friend’s other point.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Absolutely. The Russian activity in the north Atlantic is as high as it has been since the end of the cold war, which is why we constantly assess it and respond appropriately. I was delighted that, as ever, HMS St Albans accompanied that Russian vessel during its passage through the channel.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: My hon. Friend is a champion of the armed forces, and I am of course aware of his own service. I can only repeat what has already been said, but I entirely recognise the contribution made by both the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy. I was deeply honoured to be able to award green berets to our Royal Marines back in 2016, having accompanied them for a short run across the moor. I am only too...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am sorry, but I did not catch the question. If I may, I will review it and write to the hon. Gentleman.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy: Capability and Strength (15 Jan 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It is deeply disappointing that the hon. Lady once again comes to the Dispatch Box almost trying to talk down our Royal Navy. As is clear from the opening comments, we are absolutely committed to some £63 billion-worth of investment in our Royal Navy. Only shortly before Christmas we saw the Queen Elizabeth arriving in Portsmouth, after £120 million worth of investment in...


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