01 Feb 22. Defence Committee launch inquiry on Indo-Pacific. The Defence Committee today launches its inquiry on the Indo-Pacific. The inquiry will focus on the importance of the Indo-Pacific to the UK, exploring the UK’s political, diplomatic, economic and operational interests in the region. The Committee will discuss the UK’s relationship with the region, including the benefits of closer defence co-operation with ASEAN nations and our current defence engagements with key regional allies. The inquiry will examine AUKUS, its impact on the UK’s engagement in the region, as well as the defence supply chain and UK resilience. The Committee will review progress on the goals set out by the Defence Command Paper and Integrated Review.
The Committee is asking for written submissions by Friday 4 March 2022.
Chair of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, said:
“The Government has touted the ‘tilt to the Indo-Pacific’ as key to its vision of ‘Global Britain’. Numerous Government papers, including the Defence Command Paper and the Integrated Review, have reinforced our commitment to strengthening engagement in the region.
“Strategy papers are all well and good, but the Government must start consistently delivering on its vision. Our inquiry will examine whether the UK Government is making good on its promises to forge a new era for the UK.
“The Indo-Pacific region is of huge strategic importance for the UK. As the world becomes an increasingly unpredictable and volatile place, strong relationships in region will us weather the years ahead.”
The Committee welcomes evidence on the following:
- Why is the Indo-Pacific important to the UK? What are its political, diplomatic, economic and operational interests in the region?
- What progress has been made on the goals for UK Defence as part of the Indo-Pacific Tilt as set out in the Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper?
- What impact has the Carrier Strike Group deployment had in the region?
- Are the goals set out (for UK Defence as part of the Indo-Pacific Tilt) in the Defence Command Paper appropriate and achievable?
- Should the UK Government have additional goals or aspirations for UK Defence in the region, such as taking part in the Quad?
- Who are the UK’s key regional allies and how effective are UK Defence’s current engagements attempts and future engagement plans both in terms of operational and non-operational areas (such as science and technology)?
- What is the benefit of closer defence co-operation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states and how can this best be achieved?
- Does the UK need bases in the region?
- What challenges are there for UK Defence in its Indo-Pacific tilt, both in terms of achieving its goals and operating in the region?
- How could the UK develop alliances with partners in the region, for example through the Quad partnership?
- What progress has there been following the announcement of AUKUS?
- What impact has the AUKUS agreement had on the UK’s engagement in the region and with wider allies and partners?
- What does AUKUS mean for UK defence industry and for UK supply chain resilience?
- How could the success (or failure) of AUKUS best be measured?
- How will the UK manage or balance resourcing, in particular deployment of personnel and capabilities, the tilt to the region alongside NATO and other commitments?
Form of written evidence:
Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:
- a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
- a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience;
- any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
- any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos. Submissions should be arranged in numbered paragraphs.
Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence.
Deadline for submissions
The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by 4 March 2022.
It is recommended that all submitters familiarise themselves with the Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons which outlines particulars of word count, format, document size, and content restrictions.
We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses.
31 Jan 22. MPs hold first evidence session exploring Defence in Scotland. The Scottish Affairs Committee will be holding its first evidence session as part of its inquiry, Defence in Scotland: Military Personnel and Estate.
At present, over 19,000 people are employed in more than 100 Ministry of Defence establishments around Scotland (including regular armed forces personnel, reserve personnel and civil servants). However, in 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that it would reduce the size of the defence estate by 30% by 2040, with Scottish bases in Stirling and Rosyth both facing closure this year, and others to follow.
During this scene-setting evidence session, the Committee will be exploring a range of issues facing the defence sector in Scotland. Members are likely to discuss:
- Scotland’s representation in the UK military;
- The impacts of the UK’s changing defence priorities on investment, employment and communities in Scotland;
- The importance of military installations in Scotland for supporting the UK’s military alliances;
- Impact of base closures and redeployments on military personnel and their families;
- Support provided to military personnel and their families, including when moving to and from Scotland.
Witness from 14:50
- Professor Phillips O’Brien, Professor of Strategic Studies, University of St Andrews
- Professor Trevor Taylor, Director of the Defence, Industries and Society Programme, RUSI
Witnesses from 16:05
- Sarah Clewes, Chief Executive Officer, Naval Families Federation
- Lieutenant General (retired) Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB DL, Chief Executive, SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity
- Maria Lyle, Director, Royal Air Force Families Federation
- Collette Musgrave, Chief Executive, Army Families Federation