NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Mission Reports2017CDSDG/ PCTR Joint visit to London and York, United Kingdom, 24-27 April 2017

CDSDG/ PCTR Joint visit to London and York, United Kingdom, 24-27 April 2017

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153 JOINT 17 E - Mission Report

The delegation of the Assembly’s Sub-committees on Democratic Governance and on Transatlantic Relations, led by Lord Jopling (United Kingdom) and Øyvind Halleraker (Norway), was comprised of 19 legislators from 12 Allied nations, and visited London and York from 24 to 27 April 2017. Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, MP, reassured the delegation of NATO member country parliamentarians that the United Kingdom remains an outward-looking, trading nation determined to continue playing a major role in Euro-Atlantic security. UK government officials stressed the need for all NATO allies to meet the 2% GDP defence spending target, with at least 20% thereof dedicated to defence investment.
Britain is highly concerned about Russia’s provocative stance towards Allies, including its hostile use of the cyber-domain, the delegation heard. The UK contributes substantially to reassuring eastern European Allies, including by leading NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Estonia and deploying military assets near the Polish-Lithuanian border, in what is known as the Suwalki gap.  Host country speakers also criticised Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and its acts of intimidation against NATO partner countries.
During the four-day visit to London and York, NATO Parliamentarians also received briefings on, inter alia, the challenge posed by Daesh, instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, counter-terrorism, as well as UK civil protection and emergency relief approaches. Briefings in London took place in the House of Commons and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In York, the delegation visited the Emergency Planning College, the UK's leading training centre for organisational resilience, the headquarters of the 1st (UK) Division, and the University of York, one of the preeminent research universities in the UK.