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10 Oct 2005 : Column 10W—continued

European Contractors

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the contractors based in other EU member states that are providing services to his Department. [15441]

Mr. Ingram: The information is not held in the format requested.

European Defence Agency

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the work plans of the European Defence Agency are; what its cost has been to date; and if he will make a statement on its future. [15467]

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Mr. Ingram: There are currently four 'flagship' projects within the European Defence Agency (EDA) work programme, representing the priority areas for the Agency:

Other major activities include: the full establishment of the Agency; the transfer of responsibilities from the Western European Armaments Group/Western European Armaments Organisation; review of the European defence test and evaluation base and development of longer-term thinking for the improvement of European defence capability and capacity.

The EDA's budget from its establishment in July 2004 to the end of 2004 was €1.8 million. The Agency has a budget of €19.9 million for 2005. For 2005 the United Kingdom will pay €3,596, 803 towards the EDA budget, met from the MOD's budget.

The Government are a strong supporter of the European Defence Agency. The future success of the Agency will be a critical factor in driving forward work to improve European defence capabilities by encouraging and supporting the efforts of individual EU member states. The Agency will significantly strengthen both the European Security and Defence Policy and Europe's contribution to NATO by rationalising and harmonising capability requirements, and linking those directly to industrial and research efforts.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the treaty basis is for those elements of the European Defence Agency that have already been established. [15912]

Mr. Ingram: The European Defence Agency was formally established on 12 July 2004 by a unanimous Heads of State and Government decision. It was established under the Council Joint Action 2004/551/CFSP on the basis of Article 14 of the Treaty on the European Union.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those elements of the UK defence industry duplicated by other EU defence industries; what the role is of the European Defence Agency in removing duplication; which elements (a) have and (b) have not been identified as being of strategic national interest; and if he will make a statement. [15913]

Mr. Ingram: Other European defence industries include many similar capabilities to those of the UK defence industry, although these capabilities are not necessarily identical. It is therefore difficult to assess which elements are duplicated and I am unable to provide a list.
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The European Defence Agency (EDA) has a number of workstrands under way that are intended to improve the effectiveness of the European Defence Equipment Market (EDEM), including the possible introduction of a voluntary intergovernmental code of conduct. While this work is not intended specifically at removing duplication, we would expect through a more competitive and efficient EDEM that market forces would have a beneficial impact on surplus capacity and inefficiencies. More generally the EDA intends to look at future demand and capacity in various sectors of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (such as armoured fighting vehicles), as well as member states' national strategies for these areas, which may lead to recommendations for improving the efficiency in these sectors. However it will be for each member state to decide how or indeed whether to take these forward.

Our work to formulate a national defence industrial strategy, recently announced by the Minister for Defence Procurement, will identify those industrial capabilities that we wish to retain within the UK in order to ensure appropriate sovereignty and/or contribute to collaborative efforts. We expect to make a major announcement on this work by the end of 2005, along with our initial conclusions on specific sectors. The strategy is one of many initiatives that contribute to the wider aim of ensuring that the capability requirements of the armed forces can be met, now and in the future, on a cost-effective basis.

Fuel Expenditure

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Department's expenditure on fuel was in each of the last 10 years. [15403]

Mr. Ingram: The costs of fuel consumption are only available for the years in which Departmental Resource Accounts have been produced. The fuel costs are shown in the following table and include vehicle and aviation fuel, engine oil and lubricants.
£ million

In addition the costs of fuel oil consumed for heating purposes were as follows:
£ million

Independent Assessor of Military Complaints

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons he did not allow the Independent Assessor of Military Complaints access to
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the Army records of 11 and 12 July 2004 North Belfast Parades; and if he will allow the Independent Assessor access to these records. [16135]

Mr. Ingram: We thoroughly considered the request for papers by the Independent Assessor and concluded that they were not required to enable the assessor to carry out his statutory function under the Terrorism Act 2000. In reaching this conclusion, the Ministry of Defence considered whether further analysis of the events on 12 July 2004 was necessary. The policing of these parades was examined in considerable detail by Keir Starmer QC and Jane Gordon in their special report for the Policing Board published in November 2004. We do not consider, given the action already taken, that any useful purpose would be served by further examination.

Ministry of Defence officials have written to Mr.McDonald to explain this reasoning.


Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations his Department has made to the Iraqi Government concerning the pursuit of those guilty of the fatal attack on six British military policemen in Iraq in June 2003. [15532]

Mr. Ingram: We are doing all we can to enable those responsible for the deaths of the six soldiers to be brought to justice, and we continue to take steps to ensure that this case remains a priority for the Iraqi authorities, who retain jurisdiction.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops have served in Iraq to date; and how many were deployed there on 1 January and 1 July. [16213]

Mr. Ingram: The approximate number of British Service personnel deployed to Iraq on 1 January and 1 July were 7,660 and 7,940 respectively.

Information on the total number of personnel who have served in Iraq is not available centrally. However, the estimated number of Service personnel who have been deployed on Operation Telic to date is 99,500.

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) ordnance and (b) weapons systems which have been intercepted on or in the vicinity of the Iraq/Iran border by (i) coalition forces, (ii) UK service personnel and (iii) Iraq security services since the collapse of the Saddam regime; and if he will make a statement. [16697]

Mr. Ingram: We do not hold this information centrally.

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