Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

28 FEB 2018

Armed Drones

Thank you for taking the time to email me about armed drones.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Ministry of Defence is of interest:

The UK's policy on using force overseas is clear. It will be in line with applicable UK and international law, and bounded by UK rules of engagement, targeting and operational directives. The same laws are adhered to whether the method used is an unmanned and remotely piloted air system (also referred to as drones), a piloted aircraft, or any other weapon.
Under international law, the UK has an inherent right to self-defence against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack. Where a direct and imminent threat to the UK is identified, and there is no other effective option, the Government reserves the right to take lawful action in self-defence to address the identified, imminent threat to the UK and/or UK interests and to report to Parliament after it has done so. The Government made its position clear to the Joint Committee on Human Rights during its inquiry into the use of drones.
The UK expects others to follow the same international laws when it comes to the use of military force. This applies to the use of armed drones, as to any other weapon, including when used against terrorist targets.
One purpose of the Ministry of Defence's Joint Doctrine Publication on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is to increase transparency and understanding around the use of military drones. The doctrine applies to all uses of UAS across Defence at the operational level and it guides operational commanders and planning staff in understanding the terminology, tasking and employment of military drones.

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