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Armed Forces: Deployment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 42596, tabled on 13 July 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraphs 5.36 to 5.38 of the Cabinet Manual, whether the convention that a debate in Parliament should be held before troops are committed in military action applies to (a) the lethal use of armed drones, (b) military training and advisory missions (i) related to force-protection and (ii) where there is a risk of UK personnel engaging in combat in self-defence, (c) the use of special forces in long-term combat missions and (d) the embedding of UK military personnel in foreign militaries; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

19 July 2016

This Government is committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter, except where there was an emergency and such action would not be appropriate. The convention does not apply to British military personnel embedded in the armed forces of other nations.