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Prime Minister

National Security Strategy

The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown): I am today laying before the House the first annual update to the National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom Security for the Next Generation (cm 7590), and the Government’s first Cyber Security Strategy, Safety, Security and Resilience in Cyber Space (cm 7642).

The purpose of the national security strategy, published for the first time in March last year, is to bring together in a single strategic framework the Government’s analysis of, and response to, the full range of national security risks—recognising that today more than ever these risks, and the underlying drivers, are increasingly interconnected and require a more co-ordinated approach.

The 2009 update fulfils the Government’s commitment to report on activity and progress over the past year, from counter-terrorism, to military and civilian support to Afghanistan, to peacekeeping and conflict resolution in a range of countries, and to combating H1N1 influenza.

The report also updates our assessment of the security challenges facing the United Kingdom, including a detailed analysis of the implications of the current global economic downturn, which has shown—and this view is shared by our key partners and by external experts—that so far the nature of the security landscape has not altered fundamentally, although we will need to remain vigilant, especially against the dangers of instability in already poor regions, or any trend towards protectionism. The events of the past year have also reinforced the importance of a strongly internationalist approach, and the strategy update sets out detailed and ambitious plans for strengthening the international response to
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the long-term global security risks arising from climate change, poverty, and energy shortages, building on the concerted global action to stabilise the world economy over the past year.

The report covers the different ‘domains’ in which security challenges must be addressed, and identifies cyber space as one increasingly important domain in which individual, commercial and state security can be threatened, whether by other states, or terrorist or criminal networks. We are therefore publishing, alongside the overall strategy update, the UK’s first national cyber security strategy, outlining improvements to Government structures, additional funding, measures to enhance our ability to detect attack, better risk assessments, programmes to develop cyber security industrial capabilities and workforce skills, and support and advice for individual citizens.

The Cabinet Committee on national security, international relations and development oversees delivery of the national security strategy. It takes advice from the expert national security forum. Parliamentary scrutiny is provided by the Joint Committee on the national security strategy, which will start work this summer. The strategy is a comprehensive and transparent account of the risks the UK faces and the action we are taking to tackle them, and provides a basis for Parliamentary and wider public debate on our national security priorities.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Mole): My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, has made the following ministerial statement.

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