1 May 2019

The Liaison Committee is made up of Chairs of each of the select committees and has a broad mandate that includes reviewing the work of the select committee system to promote effective scrutiny of government policy. The Committee is unique because the prime minister is invited to give evidence at least three times a year.

This submission by the Remote Warfare Programme is based on research carried out as part of a larger policy report called: Britain’s Shadow Army: Policy Options for External Oversight of Britain’s Special Forces and draws on comparative analysis of the U.S. system of legislative oversight of defence and security policy.

The submission proposes the following recommendations to improve the effectiveness of parliamentary select committees overseeing Britain’s defence policy:

 In the short-term, Parliament should work with government to introduce democratic oversight of UKSF within Parliament under the mandate of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC);

  • In the longer-term, efforts should be made to provide members of the HCDC with security clearance in order for them to have greater access to classified material to contribute more positively and in an informed way to policy debates on British defence policy.

 This submission is also published on the Liaison Committee’s website here.


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