Results 81–100 of 1000 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 Drayson

Gulf War Illnesses (11 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I note the noble Lord's suggestion. Clearly, it is for the House to decide how best to look into this, but the Ministry of Defence can certainly usefully learn from such issues. We are working very hard today on a number of issues relating to the military covenant, some of which go back decades. Therefore, anything that the Ministry of Defence can learn relating, for instance, to...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, British forces in Iraq continue with vital security sector reform tasks, including the mentoring and training of the Iraqi army, navy and border enforcement department, as well as providing support to Iraqi security force operations. They also undertake where necessary targeted strike operations and a range of force protection and logistic duties in support of the multinational...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord is right to stress this issue, which is of significant concern to Her Majesty's Government. We have been focused on the whole issue of border control between Iran and Iraq and we have put a lot of effort into training the Iraqi army in its competence in border control. On the numbers of people, I shall look into the matter and write to the noble Lord. As for...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: Absolutely, my Lords. The noble Lord is right to focus on force protection. As we focus our operations from the main operating base at the airport, we are investing significantly in force protection. It is not just about hardened accommodation; it is about a number of different measures, some of them involving equipment that we are bringing into use. As regards development in the future, it...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as regards the second half of the noble Lord's question, from my recollection of yesterday's Statement my noble friend the Leader of the House answered very clearly that question relating to my right honourable friend the Defence Secretary. On the first part of his question, I took back the strongly expressed views of the House. I have had conversations on the matter with my noble...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, as the noble and gallant Lord will know, our decisions relating to the two operations are completely separate, so I can assure the House that there is no linkage between the decisions that we have made in Iraq as the security situation has improved and the Iraqi forces have taken over responsibility and any decisions that we may make with our NATO partners with regard to the...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the House will know that I like to get a move on with things. Therefore, I hope that it will be possible to resolve them speedily.

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Baroness highlights the central importance of the capability of the Iraqi forces. That capability is focused mainly around two divisions of the Iraqi army: the 10th division, which we have now successfully trained, and the new 14th division. We are talking about tens of thousands of troops, which will make a significantly greater contribution than has been made by the...

Iraq: Basra (9 Oct 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am aware of the press coverage relating to the location of our troops in the region. I am not able to confirm whether we have troops located in Kuwait and whether that is likely to change in the future. I can say that as we make progress relating to the drawdown of our troops in MND (South-East), we expect there to be an increase of approximately 300 to 500 troops in the region,...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for those comments and I pay tribute to his contribution as my predecessor in the role of Defence Procurement Minister. A sustained effort has been required over a number of years to bring us to this point today and I agree with him that it is a happy day for our Navy and for our Armed Forces generally.

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble and gallant Lord will permit me a smile relating to his final sentence. I am sure that it is clear to the whole House that decisions will need to be taken on our equipment programme in the light both of the changing circumstances that we encounter on operations and of how we need to rebalance the programme to make sure that we properly prioritise those needs on operations....

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, the noble Lord is absolutely right that we have overcapacity in terms of the naval bases—he knows it from his experience—and the naval base review addressed that issue directly. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State directed that the review should end up with a level of capacity and support for the Royal Navy appropriate to a modern fleet, supported using the more...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I do not agree with the characterisation of the Statement given by the noble Earl. I agree that GDP is growing at a faster rate, but that is not a reasonable basis for spending decisions. This is a real-terms increase in the defence budget. As we said when we announced the replacement for the nuclear deterrent, funding for it has been allocated and does not come at a cost for the...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, not only will we take them into account, but they will be our number one priority. That is the clear challenge that we have to manage in our equipment programme. We accept that we will have to make decisions about things that we will not do, but the priority will be those things that are most relevant to the operational theatres in which we are engaged at present and in which we are...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: Yes, my Lords, substantial parts of the construction of the two aircraft carriers are open to competition and will be open to companies to tender for.

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I recognise, as the noble Baroness said, the uncertainty that there has been over these decisions in those communities, and I am grateful for the forbearance of those communities and for the way in which they have engaged in the review process, which has enabled us to come to the decisions that we have announced today. However, that clarity that we are now able to give gives those...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, briefly, I will do so, and I will also answer a question from the noble Lord, Lord Astor, which I did not answer earlier. The plan is for the Harriers to run on until they are replaced, so to speak, by the Joint Strike Fighter. We have designed the aircraft carriers to have flexibility, through the so-called Delta design, and to have a contingency plan B if there is any issue...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am grateful to noble Lords for their welcome of the Statement. I will do my utmost to answer their questions. The noble Lord, Lord Astor, asked about the contract. I am pleased to inform the House that, following the announcement, BAE and VT have confirmed the creation of the joint venture to the London Stock Exchange. The heads of terms have been signed and people can have...

Defence: Spending Review and Aircraft Carriers (25 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, first, I am sure that the whole House will wish to join me in offering sincere condolences to the families and friends of Lance Corporal Timothy Flowers, Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Dunsmore, Senior Aircraftsman Peter McFerran and Senior Aircraftsman Matthew Caulwell, who were killed on operations in Iraq last week, and a member of the Armed Forces who was killed on operations...

Iraq: Withdrawal (18 Jul 2007)

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I am sure that the whole House will wish to join me in offering sincere condolences to the family and friends of Guardsman Daryl Hickey, who was killed on operations in Afghanistan last Thursday. It would be wrong to set an arbitrary timetable for withdrawing British troops from Iraq. Any changes to troop numbers are based on conditions and in consultation with the Iraqi Government...


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