Results 1–20 of 2410 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

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Nato (20 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am very grateful to have the opportunity to wind up this debate. I intend to carry on from the very constructive way in which the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Wayne David) wound up for Her Majesty’s Opposition. We have indeed had a constructive, passionate and wide-ranging debate. I am grateful to hon. Members for their ongoing and active engagement with these important issues,...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Nato (20 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: No, I will not. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir Michael Fallon) for what he did as Defence Secretary. It was an honour to serve under him, and he did much to move this agenda forward. He spoke about the opportunity that the summit would bring us, and, in particular—this related very much to the agenda of the Supreme Allied Commander...

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Nato (20 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Oh, all right, I will, but I have only two minutes left.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Nato (20 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I will. I think that we are leaders in cyber. That was discussed during Defence questions. As was said then, we have invested £1.9 billion in cyber, and in March we opened the new state-of-the-art Defence Cyber School in Shrivenham. I am determined that cyber skills will be a key component for all members of our armed forces. The hon. Member for West Dunbartonshire (Martin...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Cyber-attacks (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The Ministry of Defence takes cyber-threats very seriously, and we regularly assess our ability to defend against them. We are strengthening our defences against increasingly sophisticated attacks through a wide range of technical, operational and administrative measures, including close co-operation with the National Cyber Security Centre.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Cyber-attacks (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am grateful for that question as it gives me the opportunity to highlight that we have invested and continue to invest in cyber-capabilities, including with the opening of the defence cyber-school in March, a £40 million investment in a new cyber-security operations capability, and £265 million towards a new cyber-vulnerability investigation programme.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Cyber-attacks (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I think that we are well on our way. The 2015 national security strategy reaffirmed cyber as a top tier 1 risk. That was precisely why we opened the NCSC, which helps to co-ordinate the work of government and the private sector. It is also why we now consider cyber to be essential in our armed forces’ core skills.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Cyber-attacks (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Frankly, I am staggered that the hon. Lady thinks that £1.9 billion of investment somehow represents complacency from this Government. I have already outlined exactly how the MOD is investing in cyber. In case she has not visited—it would be interesting to know whether she has—let me say that we also have the NCSC, which is only a mile down the road. If she has not been,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: No decisions have been taken on sending additional UK troops to Afghanistan. The UK makes an important contribution to the non-combat NATO mission in Afghanistan, where our troop commitment is kept under regular review to ensure that it remains suited to the needs of the mission.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The hon. Gentleman makes a very reasonable point. He will understand that, as I spent time in Afghanistan myself in 2006, this subject is very close to my heart. I am determined that we should not, as he says, lose that blood and treasure. Indeed, I raised that issue with Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, when I met him last Thursday. We will look at the matter very...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Afghanistan (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The hon. Gentleman may be aware that I chair a joint committee with the House of Lords on this issue, where we do indeed go through that process very carefully. We pluck out individual cases on a quarterly basis and review them for that very reason.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Forces: Personnel Levels (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: We remain committed to maintaining the overall size of the armed forces, and we have a range of measures under way to improve recruitment and retention. The challenge is kept under constant review.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Forces: Personnel Levels (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: There have certainly been challenges, particularly with the introduction of the defence recruiting system, but 12,360 recruits joined the British Army last year. I have met the chief executive of Capita on several occasions, and an improvement plan is in place at the moment—I think we need to provide an opportunity for it to be run through—but, absolutely, there is an alternative...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Forces: Personnel Levels (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I understand the SNP’s desire to get more service personnel in Scotland, as that is more service personnel they can tax under their Nat tax—[Interruption.] At least the hon. Gentleman finds it amusing. I am pleased to say that there are 14,000 regular and reserve personnel in Scotland. Also, let us not forget that all of the Royal Navy submarines will be moving to Faslane, and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Forces: Personnel Levels (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: We do not directly target cadets for recruitment in the armed forces. However, it is a fact that nearly 18% of members of the armed forces were once cadets and 4% of cadets go on to join the armed forces.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Forces: Personnel Levels (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: Actually, a lot has been done. I appreciate it is now some time since that consultation was completed, but it really is a reflection of the complexity of some of the legal issues. I can assure the House that we will come back in due course.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: It is an interesting fact that since the second world war I think there have been only two years when the Army has been fully manned. There are challenges, but I am confident that we maintain all our operational commitments. The Army is currently approximately 95% manned, which I think is pretty good, but I am determined to get it up to 100%.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: I am very grateful to the hon. Lady for highlighting just one of the many training missions the British Army and other services carry out around the world. Indeed, we are currently operating in excess of 20 countries to provide non-lethal training.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: The EU has made it clear that we are not allowed to lead any operations after 29 March next year. However, we are continuing to negotiate how we might be able to take part—for example, Operation Sophia, Operation Atalanta or indeed, Operation Althea in the Balkans.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (11 Jun 2018)

Mark Lancaster: That is absolutely our ambition, yes.


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