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MP backs UK veto of EU military command and control HQ

19th July 2011

Harriett Baldwin welcomes the Foreign Secretary's veto of the creation of a permanent EU military command and control headquarters.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con): If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): Yesterday I attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, which reached strong conclusions on Libya, Syria, climate change, Afghanistan and Pakistan. No conclusions were reached on a common security and defence policy. I made it clear that we could not agree to the creation of an EU permanent operational headquarters.

Harriett Baldwin: I was delighted to hear that the Foreign Secretary had vetoed the creation of a European command and control HQ. What’s next?

Mr Hague: What is important, as I stressed to my colleagues in Brussels, is to improve the capabilities in defence around Europe and the will to use them, and that there are no institutional barriers in Europe to European nations making a greater contribution to, for instance, what we are doing in Libya or stabilisation in the Balkans. It is capacity and the will to use it that are lacking, rather than the creation of new European institutions that would be costly and distracting.

| Hansard

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