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Islamic State: Military Intervention

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 25918, tabled on 4 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2016 to Question 23290, whether it is his policy for the House to be given an opportunity to debate in advance any decision to (a) launch airstrikes against ISIL/Daesh targets outside Syria and Iraq and (b) deploy UK military personnel, embedded within other nations' armed forces, on military operations against ISIL/Daesh targets outside Syria and Iraq.

Answered on

9 February 2016

The Government is committed to the convention that, before UK troops are committed to conflict, Parliament should have an opportunity to debate the matter, except when such action is necessary in an emergency. The Government will inform the House of any exceptional operation where there has not been prior debate in Parliament, as the Prime Minister did on 7 September 2015 in relation to the precision airstrike that took place on 21 August 2015.

The embedding of UK forces in the armed forces of allies is a valuable and commonplace activity governed through long standing and frequently reciprocal international arrangements. Although it is not policy for the House to be given the opportunity to debate their deployment we are committed to continued transparency about UK Service personnel embedded in other nations' armed forces on operations and I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement I made on 17 December 2015 (Official Report, column 97-98WS) which updated the House on this.

Named day
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