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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UK works with northern allies to tackle threats

9 November 2016

Britain remains committed to working with regional allies to confront global security threats, the Defence Secretary has said.

Sir Michael Fallon highlighted the co-operation happening with partners such as Denmark during Northern Group discussions in the capital Copenhagen.

Following the NATO Defence Ministerial announcement that the UK would contribute 800 personnel to the alliance's Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia, Sir Michael announced that 5 Battalion The Rifles, based at Bulford Camp, on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, will lead the commitment and deploy in April.

He praised Denmark's own security commitments. The country will contribute to the UK battalion in Estonia in 2018, as well as forming part of the UK-led NATO spearhead force, bringing capabilities based around an armoured infantry battlegroup.

Today's Northern Group talks are focused on the security situation in the region, including on Russia's assertive military stance.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

"We will work harder for our alliances and partnerships when we leave the EU because we are committed to the defence of our continent. That's why we are moving troops to the NATO mission in Estonia, a company to Poland and RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft to the Black Sea."

Reflecting the global nature of many of the Northern Group's commitments, he praised Denmark's efforts within the coalition tackling Daesh. Denmark has F-16 aircraft deployed to strike at the group and by the end of last month the Royal Danish Air Force had hit 11 targets in Syria and 316 in Iraq. Denmark also has around 400 personnel deployed as part of the Coalition, with around 100 people conducting training.

With a defence budget rising in real terms for every year of this parliament, Britain is meeting NATO's 2% target on defence spending, an important target for NATO countries to work towards.

UK armed forces are also deployed on nearly 30 operations in 25 countries across the world, demonstrating the UK's global commitments.

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