Results 1–20 of 570 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Gavin Williamson

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

Gavin Williamson: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way. We are incredibly blessed to have such a resolute ally as the United States, and it has been a privilege to work with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis—you could not find an individual who is more committed to the transatlantic alliance. However, it is not just about words; it is about deeds and about investment of over, literally, billions of...

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

Gavin Williamson: I beg to move, That this House has considered NATO. As we look around this Chamber, we see plaques on the walls, such as that of Major Ronald Cartland, killed in action during the retreat to Dunkirk; Lieutenant Colonel Somerset Arthur Maxwell, who died of wounds received at the battle of El Alamein; and Captain George Grey, killed in action fighting in Normandy. These are just some of the men...

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

Gavin Williamson: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct. It is difficult to articulate or convey in a speech the sacrifice that was made, not just by one but by many, in order that we might have what we have today. The sacrifice, the commitment and the dedication, not just of those in the past but of those who continue to serve in our armed forces today, are so often forgotten by all of us. That is why we...

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

Gavin Williamson: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. If we do not change not just our military structures to ensure that they can best respond, but the political structures to which the military structures will turn to be given their direction—if we do not change, if we do not reform, if we do not have the agility to respond to the enemies that this nation and our allies face—NATO will be an...

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

Gavin Williamson: With my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer peering at me from behind the Speaker’s Chair, I feel that I must be on my very best behaviour. We have always seen 2% as a floor, and spending on defence has varied over the years. I think that when the Government came to office it was at a slightly higher level than 2%. Indeed, I think that when my right hon. Friend the...

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

Gavin Williamson: As we see it, 2% is very much a floor: a base on which to build. We can be very proud to be one of the few nations in NATO that meet the 2% commitment, and we can be exceptionally proud of the work done under the leadership of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir Michael Fallon)—and, of course, that of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor before he moved to the Foreign...

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

Gavin Williamson: I could see the excitement on the Chancellor’s face as my right hon. Friend outlined his proposals. I was not sure whether it constituted agreement that we should be setting those targets, but I am sure that we shall have to negotiate on the issue over a long period. We must ensure that NATO is adapting—and continues to adapt—to the times, and also to the threats that it...

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

Gavin Williamson: My hon. Friend is absolutely right: the pace and delivery of both the new equipment and the support we give our armed forces is important. We must make sure they get that new equipment, that new kit and that new capability as swiftly as we can. Our Air Force planes have been scrambled 38 times since 2012 in response to Russian military aircraft. Russia continues to use its cyber-bots and fake...

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

Gavin Williamson: We have always been clear that the interests of European security are very much our interests. That was the case before we joined the European Union and it will certainly be the case after we leave. We are open to discussions about how we can continue to work with our European partners—working and leading, if and when that is appropriate. We must not underestimate our capability...

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

Gavin Williamson: I am confident that we will be able to reach agreement on how we move forward. We must not forget that 90% of the defence industry relationships we have with other European nations are bilateral, rather than being conducted through the European Union. That is something that we will look to continue to strengthen. As we look forward to the NATO summit, we need to accept first and foremost that...

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

Gavin Williamson: I remember those discussions well, and I kind of wish that the right hon. Gentleman had demanded that a few more ships be built at Harland and Wolff—perhaps a third aircraft carrier. We expect eight nations to be meeting the 2% target by the end of this year and 14 nations by 2024, but that is still not enough. Some of the largest economies in Europe continue to lag behind...

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

Gavin Williamson: The hon. Gentleman makes an important point about readiness and our ability to respond. I will touch on that later in my speech, so the hon. Gentleman should feel free to intervene then if I need to make something clear.

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

Gavin Williamson: We can be proud of our investments in new technology, such as the new Poseidon aircraft that will operate over the north Atlantic or the Type 26 frigates that are currently being constructed in Glasgow. We are leading the world in the development of and investment in technology. Nations such as the United States actually look to us to take that leadership, to point the way forward and to take...

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

Gavin Williamson: We are doing everything that we can, and my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces is leading on that, ensuring that meet all our operational requirements and, most importantly, changing how we recruit so that we are able to fill the Army to our desired target of 82,000.

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

Gavin Williamson: I have been very generous in taking interventions. Will the hon. Gentleman let me make some progress? We need to look at how we ensure NATO is able to respond swiftly to changing threats not in months, not just in weeks but in days and hours, and not simply on land, sea and air but in the new grey danger zones of cyber-space and space itself. For that to happen, our alliance must keep...

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

Gavin Williamson: We must not look at this issue in isolation. We need to look at it as an issue that every NATO member has to face and deal with. We have to work incredibly closely with our allies, whether it is Germany, Poland or Estonia, on how we can be more responsive and how we can ensure that we have the capability to react to those changing threats. NATO is only as strong as its weakest link, so every...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy Fisheries Protection (11 Jun 2018)

Gavin Williamson: The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in patrolling the seas around the United Kingdom. As we leave the European Union, the needs and level of activity will change, and we are working with other Departments to assess what is required. The Royal Navy will continue to play a vital role in protecting UK waters.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy Fisheries Protection (11 Jun 2018)

Gavin Williamson: The Department received an extra £12 million from the Treasury that we prioritised for that area. We are in dialogue with our DEFRA colleagues to ensure that we have the right levels of policing and support in our territorial waters. The Royal Navy is absolutely committed to delivering that, and we will work with DEFRA to ensure that it happens.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy Fisheries Protection (11 Jun 2018)

Gavin Williamson: My hon. Friend is a great champion of the fishermen of the north Cornwall coast, and I imagine that the deployment of the Type 26 would certainly see off the French and Spanish swiftly. He will be pleased to know that Plymouth will shortly be receiving an extra Type 23 frigate, which will be based at Devonport, and while I am sure that she will do some fisheries protection work, she will also...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Royal Navy Fisheries Protection (11 Jun 2018)

Gavin Williamson: The programme will mention fisheries, the high north and everything else that I am sure the hon. Gentleman would love to see in it.


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