Results 101–120 of 1526 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: I do agree with the hon. Gentleman, who also does assiduous work on the Defence Committee. It should not be civil servants who determine the size of the Army; it should be this House that determines the size of the Army—it should be Ministers. Ministers are, of course, in overall control, but these are issues that should be discussed by the House of Commons on a regular basis and...

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: I agree with the hon. Lady, who serves so wonderfully on the Select Committee. These issues are brought out clearly in the report. She also referred to the matter in the estimates debate on Tuesday. There are real shortages in relation to cyber-reserves. We must build up those specialist areas to guard against the threats this country faces.

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend, who also serves on the Defence Committee, makes, as always, a very good point. It is a matter not of astonishment, because I am not astonished about anything, but of surprise that the National Security Council has not already been brought into this process. It needs to be brought into the next process on a regular basis.

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: In our report the Defence Committee calls on the Government to set out how they would rapidly rebuild the regulars as well as building on the reservists. It is difficult enough as it is to recruit into the regulars and the reservists, but regeneration of that capability is important, and the Government must address that.

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend makes an important point. We say in the report: “We note that Reservists are cheaper to employ so long as they are not called up. This will only prove to be a cost saving so long as future governments are not required to undertake operations. This will need to be closely monitored.” I hope—indeed, I am sure—that the Government will do exactly that.

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: The hon. Gentleman, who has been on the Defence Committee since, I think, 2003, and who knows more about it than any of us, is quite right. He will raise his points in the next Defence Committee inquiry into Future Force 2020, which will tie together all these issues in the reports that the Committee does to build up to the next defence and security review.

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend is right. The fighting power of the Army seems to have been less used than we would like by the MOD both as a concept and in its language in recent years. Fighting power involves the conceptual component—the thought process—the moral component, which is the ability to get people to fight, and the physical component, or the means to fight. We call on the MOD to...

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Well, it is radical in that it goes to the root of what the Army is about. It changes the entire configuration of the Army from a predominantly—hugely so—regular Army with a very small proportion of reservists, to an Army of 82,500 regulars and 30,000 reservists. That is certainly radical. I think certain things really work well, but there are other things which are not working so...

Future Army 2020 (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend knows far more about it than I do. I am sure he is right. I am sure the answer is in the report somewhere, but I cannot put my finger on exactly where.

Business of the House: Nuclear Submarines (6 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My right hon. Friend said that the consequences of this announcement for the Astute fleet would be the subject of further review. We all understand that the levels of radioactivity that he has announced are low, but what monitoring will be done of the cooling system in our operational Astutes to reassure the crews and all those involved that they are not in any way at risk?

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Given how long I have been in this House, I really ought to know whether I should be thanking the Backbench Business Committee, the Government, the Chair of the Liaison Committee or you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for my securing the debate. Just to be on the safe side, I will thank them all, and especially you.

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: My hon. Friend makes a good point, but it rebounds slightly on the Defence Committee because we have been told that we are responsible for applying for such debates and, I have to confess, we have not done so in recent months, so perhaps we ought to revisit that. The Defence Committee launched an inquiry into defence and cyber-security in January 2012, as part of a series of debates and...

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Well, there are pluses and minuses to having a unified structure, and there are risks in having a siloed approach. I said this is the responsibility of everyone, and so it is. I shall explain how wide that responsibility extends.

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Things have moved on since our Committee reported. There is somebody in overall command and that is my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces, who will, I have no doubt, set out precisely how things have moved on when he responds to the debate. That is the purpose of Select Committee reports, and I am pleased about that. The Committee was particularly concerned that the armed...

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Yes, and I entirely agree. I have discovered a new organisation being set up in Cambridge called the centre for the study of existential risk, which is right up my street. Being a gloomy sort of person, that is precisely the sort of thing I am worried about, and the hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to hear that I am already in deep contact with the centre.

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: I do, and I hope that in answering the debate my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces will take that point straight on the chin, because in many respects the armed forces are the resource of last resort, and cyber-security may be an area where the armed forces do not accept that responsibility. There is a necessary focus within the defence world on securing the systems and...

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: Like my hon. Friend the Member for Canterbury (Mr Brazier), the hon. Gentleman contributes so effectively to the Defence Committee and makes an interesting point—one I had not heard before. That is the value of these debates. We will all have to think about that issue. We must seek to defend ourselves, but we must also, as has been suggested, expect to develop a capability to respond...

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: I am sure that my hon. Friend is right in saying that the Government are well aware of where some of these attacks are coming from. I do not agree that it would be relatively easy to counter them, because these threats are developing at a frightening speed, as the hon. Member for Barrow and Furness said. The diversity and development of these threats is changing on a second-by-second basis. I...

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: The hon. Lady is quite right. We are groping towards it, but we are not quite there. One of the benefits of this debate, of our report and of the Government’s response is to help us move to a better place.

Estimates 2013-14 — Ministry of Defence: Defence and Cyber-security (4 Mar 2014)

James Arbuthnot: I would have entirely agreed, but the problem may be whether there are enough reserves and enough people with those skills in the country at all. Let us move on towards that.


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