The Sub-Committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities (DSCFC) travelled to London from 13-14 September 2016 to gain greater insight into UK defence priorities and to visit NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM). The visit was planned to be a part of the sub-committee’s annual report NATO and the Future Role of Naval Power the intervening variable of the United Kingdom’s referendum on its membership in the European Union, however, ended up having a significant impact on the tenor of the entire visit’s briefings and discussions.
The delegation had a range of meetings with high-level British officials to discuss the impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) on the country’s defence priorities and planning. In addition, DSCFC members were keen to understand Britain’s commitments to the Alliance after the July summit in Warsaw, where British leaders stepped up to demonstrate the UK’s enduring commitment to Alliance-wide security, particularly in the wake of recent destabilisation along the Eastern and Southern flanks of Europe.
To compliment the DSCFC’s annual report, MARCOM briefers discussed the evolving role of the command in NATO’s current defence and security posture, as well as the specific maritime hues to the Warsaw Summit. In addition to their morning visit to MARCOM, DSCFC members also had a series of meetings in the House of Commons with experts and officials about the future of the Royal Navy, discussing investments, deployments, and ongoing international cooperation.
The delegation consisted of 16 NATO member state parliamentarians representing eight different Alliance nations.
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