Armed forces

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the armed forces. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
27.01.2016Replacing the UK's Nuclear Deterrent
After nearly a decade of work on a programme to replace the UK's nuclear deterrent from the early 2030s, a decision on taking that programme forward will be made shortly. The Government is expected to seek the approval of Parliament for this decision. But what are the arguments for and against doing so? How much will it cost? And are there any other alternatives?
25.01.2016The South China Sea dispute: January 2016 update
Southeast Asia is home to a range of complex territorial disputes, but the most intractable and combustible is the South China Sea dispute. Tensions between the rival countries have been on the rise in recent years.
22.01.2016Iraq Historic Allegations Team
This Commons Library briefing paper describes the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT): when and why it was set up; its mandate, staff and methods; and its achievements. Its puts these in the context of other related investigations and recent publicity.
20.01.2016Housing options for serving and ex-military personnel (excluding service accommodation) (England)
an overview of the housing options available to serving and ex-military personnel in England.
12.01.2016The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review
This Commons Library briefing paper examines how the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will affect the armed forces.
11.01.2016The UK National Security Council
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the UK National Security Council (NSC). Using a Q&A format, the briefing provides basic information about its origins, mandate and operation.
08.01.2016International Humanitarian Law: a primer
This Commons Library briefing paper is an introductory guide to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
15.12.2015ISIS/Daesh: the military response in Iraq and Syria
US-led air strikes against ISIS continue in Iraq and Syria, alongside a training programme to build the capacity of Iraqi security forces. The UK has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since September 2014 and has been providing training assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Following a vote in Parliament, the UK recently expanded its air campaign into Syria. But will it make a difference?
11.12.2015Armed Forces Bill 2015-16
The five-yearly Armed Forces Bill provides the legal basis for the UK's armed forces and its system of military law.
26.11.2015School funding: Pupil Premium
The introduction and development of the Pupil Premium policy since its introduction in 2011

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
25.01.2016Armed Forces Bill 2015-16: Briefing for Lords Stages
This briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the Armed Forces Bill.
24.03.2014Britain and the First World War: Parliament, Empire and Commemoration
The centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked in 2014. Britain entered the conflict in August 1914 and remained at war until November 1918.
06.12.2013Defence Reform Bill
This Note provides background information on the Defence Reform Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 December 2013.
01.11.2013Debate on 7 November: The Armed Forces and Legal Challenge
This Note looks at some of the issues raised by legal challenges to the Armed Forces.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
01.12.2006Military uses of space, December 2006
Military uses of space, December 2006. POSTnote 06/273.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
11.06.2011Legislative scrutiny: Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill; Armed Forces Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
10.05.2011Legislative scrutiny: Armed Forces Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
15.12.2010Treasury Minutes on the the Public Accounts Committee, first and second reports of session 2010-11 (HC...
Government response. Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
27.07.2010MoD annual report and accounts 2008-09.
Government response. Defence Select Committee; Ministry of Defence report [Commons]
06.04.2010Readiness and recuperation of the Armed Forces: looking towards the Strategic Defence Review.
Government response. Defence Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
08.02.2012SERVICE PERSONNEL
That this House recognises the bravery of Flight Lieutenant Wales as air and sea rescue pilot and his fellow service personnel in their posting to the Falkland Islands; thanks them, ...
13.12.2011QUEEN'S JUBILEE MEDAL AND ST JOHN AMBULANCE
That this House welcomes the Queen's Jubilee Medal which will honour those serving in the UK's armed forces and emergency services who risk their lives in support of the public; but ...
07.12.2011ARMED FORCES PAY
That this House notes the Government's announcements on limiting Armed Forces' pay; is concerned about the impact this will have on the living standards and morale of the UK's forces ...
21.11.2011SWANSEA, DEMOCRACY AND THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
That this House recognises the courage of all those who served in the International Brigades defending Spanish democracy during 1936 to 1938; welcomes the memorial to be unveiled on ...
07.11.2011REPRESENTATION OF BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND CROWN DEPENDENCIES ON REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY
That this House calls on Her Majesty's Government to recognise the enormous contribution made by members of Her Majesty's Armed Services from each of the British Overseas Territories ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses