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Armed Forces: Deployment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 292070, tabled on 30 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 September 2018 to Question 167831 and with reference to paragraph 87 of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s report of 6 August 2019 entitled The Role of Parliament in the UK Constitution: Authorising the Use of Military Force, how his Department determines whether an international deployment of the armed forces falls (a) above and (b) below the conflict threshold.

Answered on

7 October 2019

Whilst the term 'conflict threshold' was used during the oral evidence session for the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee to explain the difference between combat operations and wider military activity, it is not a formal term that the Ministry of Defence uses to define different operations. Broadly speaking there is a difference between military activity overseas which happens every day for a whole range of purposes, and military combat operations which are much rarer. Given the varying nature of military operations we do not believe it would be possible to establish a strict 'conflict threshold' definition, instead emerging military activity is assessed on a case-by-case basis.