TECHNOLOGY has not just had a powerful influence on everyday lives, it has also transformed warfare.

A country’s military no longer depends on manned aircraft to launch missiles in warzones, but can instead use drones which do not require pilots.

Armed drones can either be seen as an opportunity or a threat, but regardless of your perspective they also raise legal and ethical questions.

If a parliament approves air strikes as part of a military conflict, there seems little moral or practical difference between manned and unmanned aircraft.

The trickier aspect is recognising that many conflicts these days are not between countries or on conventional battlefields, but involve terror groups that operate across a variety of nations and continents.

If a terrorist is planning a strike on the UK in a country with whom we are not at war, are we justified in using a lethal drone strike?

As we reveal today, an MoD document made clear there was a “practice” of targeting terrorists outside of armed conflicts. The MoD insisted that the wording was a mistake and that there was no such policy.

However, given that the US already operates a laissez-faire drones policy in Pakistan and Yemen, it is not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine the UK edging in this direction. Such a practice is deeply worrying - as it is an effective global licence to kill. As such, the UK should immediately set out the circumstances in which lethal drone strikes can and cannot be used.