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Foreign recruits in British army capped at 15 per cent

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Feb 3, IRNA - The number of foreign and Commonwealth recruits in three army regiments is being capped at 15 per cent, Defence Secretary, John Hutton, has announced.

“We have concluded that in the interests of operational effectiveness, a 15 per cent limit on foreign and Commonwealth nationals in these areas of the Army is both necessary and proportionate,” Hutton said.

“We have also borne in mind the importance of ensuring that the Armed Forces continue to be identified with and representative of the UK,” he said, adding that the limit does not extend to the Gurkha unit, which is exclusively made up of Nepalese nationals.

The move comes after a rapid rise in the number of foreign recruits to the British army, which has suffered retention losses due to the Iraq and Afghanistan war. The overall proportion has risen to 7 per cent, some 6,700.

In a written parliamentary statement, published Monday, the defence secretary said that the limitation would apply immediately to the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps and the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, the only three regiment approaching 15 percent.

“There will be an option to apply the same limit to other parts of the Armed Forces if, at any time in the future, the percentages merit it,” he added.
The defence secretary specified that the restrictions are legal under the country’s Race Relations Laws aimed to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination because they were based on nationality.

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