24 Jan 14. Defence Committee Session – AFGHANISTAN. Tuesday 28 January 2014. Committee Room 15, House of Commons. At 2.30 pm.
* Lieutenant General James Everard, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) Ministry of Defence
* Vincent Devine, Director Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence
* Neil Crompton, Director for Afghanistan and South Asia, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
This is the first session for this inquiry into progress towards withdrawal of UK troops and post-2014 involvement in Afghanistan.
24 Jan 14. Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. The Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, will appear before the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy at 3.00pm on THURSDAY 30 JANUARY.
The Committee is expected to focus on:
* The Prime Minister’s views on the National Security Strategy and the effectiveness of the National Security Council which he established in 2010;
* The impact that the National Security Strategy and the National Security Council have had on Government decision-making in practice;
* The Government’s plans for the next National Security Strategy (expected in 2015), and how it will respond to new and changing risks.
It is expected to cover a range of national security issues, including the Government’s response to events in Syria, the UK’s relationship with the USA, and MOD decision-making on the future of the Army; and to look at wider national security concerns, including energy and food security, and ownership of critical national infrastructure.
The evidence session will be held in the Boothroyd Room in Portcullis House, and is expected to last for 1½ hours.
The session is open to the public and can be watched live or on-demand at www.parliamentlive.tv. A transcript of this hearing will be published online at www.parliament.uk as soon as possible.
House of Commons Written Answers 23 January 2014
Chemical Weapons: Cheshire
Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the nature is of the contract between the Government and Veolia Environmental Services in respect of the destruction of chemical weapons at Ellesmere Port; 
(2) with reference to the Government’s contract with Veolia Environmental Services in respect of the destruction of chemical weapons at Ellesmere Port, what the nature is of the material to be destroyed; whether it is all in solid or liquid phase; and whether any ordnance will come to Ellesmere Port; 
(3) with reference to the Government’s contract with Veolia Environmental Services in respect of the destruction of chemical weapons at Ellesmere Port, what steps he is taking to ensure the safe transit of the chemical weapons within the UK; and which other sites are being utilised for this purpose; 
(4) with reference to the Government’s contract with Veolia Environmental Services in respect of the destruction of chemical weapons at Ellesmere Port, whether the process involves any (a) discharge to local water courses and (b) risk of any of the material venting to the atmosphere in a toxic state; 
(5) with reference to the Government’s contract with Veolia Environmental Services in respect of the destruction of chemical weapons at Ellesmere Port, whether the Government will require any oversight of the process other than that previously applied to the site. 
Mr Dunne: No chemical weapon agents will be brought to the UK for destruction, no ordnance or munitions, and no explosives. As part of the international effort to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons programme, in support of UN Security Council Resolution 2118, the UK has agreed to destroy 150 tonnes of two industrial grade chemicals from Syria. Both these chemicals are chloroamines, with very similar chemical properties, and are referred to as “B” precursors. These chemicals are no more toxic than many other chemicals that are routinely manufactured, processed and destroyed in the