CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – EU RAPID REACTION FORCE – 16 July 2001

Dr Julian Lewis: Does my right hon. and learned Friend [Michael Howard] recall that, last November, the then Chief of the Defence Staff, General Guthrie, was asked by a Conservative Defence spokesman why the European rapid reaction force was being created outside rather than inside NATO? He replied:

"I suppose it could have been done within the NATO framework and in some ways it would have been easier."

He went on to say that politicians had decided otherwise:

"It was decided by the EU Governments that this was the way it would be done."