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07 Dec 12. The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy has welcomed the Government’s 2012 Annual report on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. Last year the Committee was critical of the Government’s 2011 Annual Report saying that it had been “almost unrelentingly positive” and simply a “relatively uninformative implementation report on the SDSR”. The Government’s 2012 Annual Report acknowledges that it “seeks to respond to JCNSS comments and recommendations with regard to the 2011 annual report by being both comprehensive and further enhancing transparency”. It covers a much wider range of topics than the 2011 report, including details on the NSS, the SDSR and a range of security threats and challenges facing the UK.
The Chair of the Committee, Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, said, “We welcome this year’s Annual report on the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review which is much broader and more wide-ranging than last year’s report. However we regret the fact that it is not yet as complete, transparent, and strategic as it could be. We hope the Government will take the opportunity in next year’s report to focus more on the strategic aspects of events; for example this year’s report ignores the strategic impact of the Eurozone crisis. It also glosses over other problems the Government has encountered this year. Omitting altogether difficulties such as the numerous problems there have been with Border Security in the last year fools no-one.”

House of Lords Written Answers for Friday 14 December 2012

Armed Forces: Unmanned Aircraft

Asked by Lord Hylton: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to take measures to prevent worldwide proliferation of unmanned aircraft, in particular those armed for attacks.[HL3969]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The UK is strongly committed to the need for appropriate controls on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including those that are armed. The UK is one of 34 states which make up the missile technology control regime (MTCR) and which work together to prevent the proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This includes UAVs. The MTCR rests on adherence to common export policy guidelines (the MTCR guidelines) applied to an agreed list of controlled items. The UK supports MTCR outreach to non-members to work towards wider adherence to the MTCR guidelines.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Thursday 13 December 2012


Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he proposes that the cost of any UK military presence in Afghanistan post-2014 should be met by the Treasury Reserve or by his Department’s core budget. [132655]

Mr Robathan: The MOD expects that the net additional costs of military operations will continue to be met by the Treasury Reserve.

BAE Systems

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of BAE Systems’ quality assurance procedures for equipment purchased by the Royal Navy. [133230]

Mr Dunne: In procuring equipment for the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) mandates a series of defence standards, both for the quality management systems employed by industry and for product quality. Robust processes are built into procurement contracts, covering both design and build to ensure industry meets the MOD’s exacting quality standards. This includes the internationally recognised standard ISO 9001, to which BAE Systems is registered and certified. The MOD monitors contractors’ performance against those standards through a comprehensive system of surveillance, including intervention where necessary. Individual project teams are supported in their surveillance activities by the Defence Quality Assurance Field Force.

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