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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

20 Nov 20. SofS for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, to appear in front of the Defence Committee. On November 24, at 14.30, the Defence Committee will hear from Secretary of State (SofS) for Defence, Ben Wallace. The discussion will largely focus on defence’s contribution to the pandemic response but may also explore other topics. The Committee will examine defence’s management of the crisis and the scale of the response, asking how this has impacted operational readiness.  The session will look ahead and discuss the ways in which the Armed Forces are likely to contribute to the distribution of the vaccine, and how to apply the lessons learned so far.

14.30, 24 November:

  • Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence

19 Nov 20. Reacting to the PM’s statement in the Commons today on defence spending, the Integrated Review and global Britain, Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said, “This announcement is a clear and unequivocal message that defence is a priority for this Government and an imperative for the country. A welcome end to the era of cuts to defence. This substantial increase in defence spending sends the signal that the UK is committed to remaining a significant hard power with the capacity to wield considerable influence and shape the geopolitical landscape.   The postponement of the Integrated Review, although understandable, it not without its drawbacks. Funding and strategy are two sides of the same coin, yet the announcements today indicate that the Integrated Review and Spending Review are being undertaken as separate pieces of work. Whilst the numbers are impressive, the cash injection will fail to deliver without a coherent and considered strategy, and threats and priorities are yet to be formally identified in the Review. Critically, we have heard little on the Government’s plans to work closely and collaboratively with our firmest ally, the US, in order to address the growing threat from Russia and China. The new US Administration offers the opportunity to strengthen our countries’ ties and the Review should renew our commitment to working together to counter the threat that these hostile states pose to our way of life. Although the Government is rightly ambitious in its vision for the UK’s standing on the world stage, questions remain about how it plans to achieve these ambitions. It is crucial that the Review outlines how the Government plans on delivering a balance of capabilities across our Armed Forces, ensuring our country’s ability to respond to any threat of any nature. As technology evolves, we must adapt, and the Committee is urging for clarity on the new planned investments in space and in cyber warfare.”

19 Nov 20. Defence Sub-Committee to explore NSI Bill and interference from hostile foreign states. On Monday 23 November, at 15.15, the Defence Sub-Committee on Foreign Involvement in the Defence Supply Chain held its second evidence session, focusing on both the National Security and Investment (NSI) Bill and involvement from hostile foreign states. The session will assess both the Enterprise Act 2002 and the NSI Bill, with the Sub-Committee exploring whether the new legislation reflects the needs of the UK defence industry and the MoD, and asking whether it suitably balances protection for critical industries with encouraging inward investment. The Sub-Committee will examine the risks of hostile foreign involvement in the defence supply chain and the extent of Chinese ownership in sensitive UK industries, with reference to specific examples.

15.15, 23 November:

  • Francis Tusa, Editor, Defence Analysis
  • Elisbaeth Braw, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Michael Formosa, Managing Partner, Renaissance Strategic Advisors.

13 Nov 20. Defence to hear from Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin in final session for Procurement and Prosperity inquiry. On Tuesday 17 November, at 14.00, the Defence Committee will hold its final evidence session as part of its inquiry into Procurement and Prosperity, hearing from the Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin. The session will explore the implications of delaying the multi-year spending review for the Integrated Review, the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy and the Equipment Plan. It will seek to clarify the Department’s vision for a new industrial strategy and its definition of value for money and prosperity in procurement. It will also consider the impact of a second lockdown on defence suppliers and the role of defence in economic recovery.

The Committee will hear from Jeremy Quin, Damian Parmenter and Huw Walters. Jeremy Quin has served as Minister for Defence Procurement at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) since February 2020. Prior to entering politics, Jeremy Quin worked in corporate finance for 25 years as Managing Director of Deutsche Bank. Damian Parmenter CBE is currently the Director of the Defence & Security Industrial Strategy at the MoD. Parmenter has spent the previous three and a half years as the Chief of Staff to four Secretaries of State and working with Private Offices across Whitehall and internationally to deliver defence and government priorities. Huw Walter is the Director Economic Security and Prosperity in the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) with his responsibilities including leading on MoD’s prosperity policy, oversight of strategic export campaigns and advising Ministers on foreign investment issues.

Tuesday 17 November, 14.00:

  • Jeremy Quin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, MoD
  • Damian Parmenter CBE, Director, Defence & Security industrial Strategy, MoD
  • Huw Walters, Director, Economic Security and Prosperity, MoD

 

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