On Monday (12th December 2016) participated in a parliamentary debate on NATO. Here's what he said:
Mike Gapes MP: On the day we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the end of the USSR, can we do more to educate our people about the importance of defending the security of the states—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—that regained their independence and were able to make a free, democratic decision to associate with NATO, and to end the nonsense we hear in some quarters, perhaps on both sides of the Atlantic, that NATO is not a voluntary alliance?
Mike Penning MP: The whole success of NATO lies in the fact that countries join freely. Mike Gapes is right that the countries he mentioned—Latvia, Estonia and so on—are particularly worried about their protection. It is not like the British Army of the Rhine, which I had the honour and privilege to serve with and which sat there, static, for long periods; what we and our allies in NATO are sending is a significant force to make sure the Russians know that we are serious.