Early Day Motions

An Early Day motion (EDM) is a formal motion which is submitted to the House of Commons for debate.  More details about EDMs can be found here. APPG members have submitted 7 EDMs to date:

EDM 701 on the Government’s response to the JCHR Report on The Governments’ Policy on the Use of Drones for Targeted Killing reads

That this House welcomes the Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Government’s response to its Report on the Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing; further welcomes the confirmation that existing legal frameworks, including international humanitarian and human rights law, apply to the use of armed drones; notes, however, the conclusion of the Joint Committee that the Government has a policy to use lethal force abroad outside armed conflict but that this policy is in fact based on a misunderstanding of the legal frameworks that apply; invites the Government to articulate the differences between the UK and US positions on the applicable international standards; further notes that the recent Joint Declaration for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles offers an opportunity to set the standards for the future use of armed drones; notes that the Ministry of Defence is currently conducting a Defence policy review on remotely piloted air systems, and is drafting Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.21, The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems; avers the need for parliamentary understanding, approval and accountability for the Government’s policy on the use of drones, and any other means, for targeted killing, both in and outside armed conflict; and calls on the Government to forge a positive precedent and implement the recommendations of the Joint Committee as a matter of urgency, before the defence policies are finalised and before the Government engages in talks on international standards for armed drone use.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Kirsten Oswald (SNP). The other sponsors were: Lucy Powell (Lab), Tom Brake (Lib Dem), Douglas Chapman (SNP), Corri Wilson (SNP), and Catherine West (Lab). As of 6 December 2016 the motion has been signed by 35 MPs.

EDM 152 on drones and the Strategic Defence and Security Review reads

That this House calls on the Government to address the issues identified in the UK Approach to Unmanned Systems, a Joint Doctrinal Note written in 2011, in connection with the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR); notes the recommendations of the Defence Committee on the need for a current British doctrine in its 10th Report of Session 2013-14, on Remote Control: Remotely Piloted Air Systems – current and future use, HC 772; further notes that the conclusions of the Birmingham Policy Commission, The Security Impact of Drones: Challenges and Opportunities for the UK, include the absence of central direction; recognises the significant increase in the use of armed and unarmed drones since the 2010 SDSR; further recognises that the Scavenger Programme is intended to replace the Reaper with a sovereign, armed drone capability; and calls on the Government to devise and disclose a distinct and overarching policy on the use of British military drones as part of British defence strategy.

The primary sponsor of the motion was David Davis (Con). The other sponsors were: Richard Burgon (Lab), Dave Anderson (Lab), Michael Gapes (Lab), Paul Flynn (Lab), Caroline Lucas (Green). At the time of updating the motion has been signed by 25 MPs

EDM 487 on a proposal for UK policy on drone use reads

That this House welcomes the Birmingham Policy Commission on The Security Impact of Drones: Challenges and Opportunities for the UK, chaired by Professor Sir David Omand, which was published on 22 October 2014; notes that the exploitation of drones to the UK’s benefit is held back by a lack of central direction; stresses the need for policy on the use of drones articulating the UK position on application of international human rights and humanitarian law in complex conflicts; calls on the Government to distinguish UK practice, and protect UK personnel, from inadvertent complicity in the targeted killing of suspects outside traditional battlefields by the US; invites the Government to disclose the guidance issued to staff, and safeguards in place, to ensure that shared intelligence cannot be used for targeted killing contrary to UK law; and further calls on the Government to implement these recommendations forthwith.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Tom Watson (Lab). The other sponsors were: David Davis (Con), Yasmin Qureshi (Lab), John Hemming (LD), David Anderson (Lab) and Linda Riordan (Lab)

EDM 136 on drones reads

That this House welcomes the Fourteenth Report of Session 2013-14 from the Defence Committee on Intervention: Why, When and How?; notes the Committee’s recommendations on the role of Parliament and the importance of parliamentary approval before use of military force; stresses the need for debate on conflict decisions to ensure the approval of both Parliament and the public; further notes in particular the emerging convention that the House should have an opportunity to debate military action abroad; and calls on the Government to clarify that the convention will be applied to use of drones outside Afghanistan, whether or not they are operated from the UK and to publish a statement of criteria articulating the legal basis and circumstances in which the UK may commit to military intervention of any sort.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Tom Watson (Lab).  The other sponsors were: Katy Clark(Lab), Yasmin Qureshi (Lab), Linda Riordan (Lab), Paul Flynn (Lab), David Anderson (Lab). At the time of updating this EDM has been supported by 26 MPs.
EDM 661 on drones reads

That this House welcomes the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles; notes that the use of drones by the UK, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, is an issue of concern; draws attention to allegations that the UK is sharing information with other states for the purposes of targeted killings using drones; further notes the human rights questions which arise from the direct and indirect use of drones by the UK; further notes the need for increased transparency and accountability on this use; and calls on the Government to work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on this issue.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Tom Watson (Lab).  The other sponsors were: Dave Anderson (Lab); George Galloway (Res); John Hemming (LD); Caroline Lucas (Green); Sandra Osborne (Lab).

EDM 1173 on drones reads

That this House welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution of 27 February 2014 that calls on member states to oppose the practice of extrajudicial targeted killing through use of armed drones outside the framework of international law; calls on member states to ensure they do not facilitate such killings by other states; further calls on member states to promote greater transparency and accountability on the part of all states using armed drones; expresses concern that increasing use of drones in extraterritorial lethal operations has caused disproportionate civilian casualties and that the UK has not disclosed any fact-finding inquiries into the incidents of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes in Afghanistan; notes that UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson in his report of 28 February 2014 urges states to engage immediately and reach consensus on the core principles governing use of armed drones; and calls on the Government to implement the European resolution.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Tom Watson (Lab). The other sponsors were:  John Hemming (LD); Caroline Lucas (Green); Yasmin Qureshi (Lab); Paul Flynn (Lab); and Jim Sheridan (Lab). At the time of updating, the EDM has been supported by 25 MPs.

EDM 580 on strengthening civilian protection in armed conflict reads

That this House notes the publication of the UN Secretary-General’s latest Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, calling on both states and non-state armed actors to do more to protect civilians in conflict and promote real accountability for violations; also notes with regret the report’s finding that last year civilians again made up 90 per cent of those killed and injured when explosive weapons were used in populated areas, resulting in devastating impacts on critical civilian infrastructure, education, livelihoods, and food and water security; is disturbed by the report’s finding of a 42 per cent increase in incidents involving attacks on hospitals, medical workers and transport compared with 2018, particularly in light of the current worldwide Covid-19 public health emergency; believes that protection strategies designed with local communities, including women and girls and people with disabilities, ultimately better reflect local protection needs; urges the Government, further to the Annual Report, to ensure that civilian protection is embedded as a top-line priority across UK domestic and international policy, including by supporting a Political Declaration to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, establishing specific capabilities to track, analyse, respond to and learn from incidents of civilian harm, and helping neutral humanitarian actors to reach all civilians in need in conflict-affected areas; and further calls on the Government to help realise the UN Secretary-General’s goal of a global ceasefire.

The primary sponsor of the motion was Margaret Ferrier (SNP). The other sponsors were: Christine Jardinel (Lib Dem); Caroline Lucas (Green); Grahame Morris (Lab); Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru); and Jim Shannon (DUP). At the time of updating, the EDM has been supported by 25 MPs.