James Cleverly seeks assurance on UK readiness to support eastern flank NATO allies

James Cleverly speaking in the House of Commons on NATO

James Cleverly asks the Government about the UK contribution to NATO reassurance operations in Estonia and Poland and asks the Government if, in the event of an Article 5 situation - the Collective Defence Article, the UK will be both ready and willing to support our eastern flank NATO allies.

NATO Operations: Estonia and Poland

James Cleverly (Braintree) (Con)

13. What contribution the UK is making to NATO reassurance operations in Estonia and Poland. [904164]

The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mark Lancaster)

The UK has a key role in NATO’s enhanced forward presence by leading a battlegroup in Estonia and contributing to a US-led battlegroup in Poland. We have deployed about 800 personnel to Estonia and about 150 to Poland. These deployments are but part of our broader commitment to NATO and its assurance measures on the alliance’s eastern flank.

James Cleverly

I thank the Minister for that response. Does he agree with me that both our security and our economy rely on the confidence placed in us by our NATO allies that we will, in the event of an article 5 situation, be both ready and willing to support our eastern flank NATO allies?

Mark Lancaster

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. It is absolutely right that hard power is an important part of maintaining our defence and security. Indeed, the vice-chief of the defence staff said the same last week, and he made a strong case for spending more on defence. Our armed forces and our civilians in defence must and do work in partnership with other Departments in international development and, indeed, diplomacy.

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