15 Mar 16. Defence Committee – LIBYA. Responding to concerns raised by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee about a potential troop deployment in Libya, the Defence Committee has sought a briefing from the Secretary of State for Defence. The Committee is satisfied that we are a very long way from the likelihood of any troop deployment to support an interim government in Tripoli. The Secretary of State informed the Defence Committee that he was in discussions with allies on a whole range of options, but troop deployments would only be a possibility in the event of a stable government in Tripoli. Currently, the city is controlled by over 40 different militias.
A Member of the Committee, Richard Benyon MP, said, “The Committee are satisfied that no deployment is imminent, or likely. If this should change, any decision by the British Government will be subject to the full scrutiny of the Defence Committee and Parliament”.
15 Mar 16. Foreign Affairs Committee calls for statement from Foreign Secretary concerning the deployment of UK forces in airstrikes against ISIL targets in Libya. The Foreign Affairs Committee has written to the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP, to request a statement to the House on the development of any plans for the deployment of UK military forces in Libya. The decision of the Committee this afternoon is based on a recent trip to Egypt and Tunisia from 6-11 March in connection with the ongoing inquiry, Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options. The Committee heard that the likely first formal action of the newly formed Government of National Accord will be to request that the UK and its allies conduct airstrikes against ISIL targets in Libya. The pre-emptive deployment of UK military forces is a matter for the House.