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Security Threats

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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15.

If he will make a statement on the armed forces' military preparedness to deal with security threats to the UK. [120556]

The involvement of the armed forces in counter-terrorism and civil protection was reviewed following the events of 11 September 2001 and enhanced as part of the development of the new chapter of the strategic defence review. Their role is to act in support of the police and other emergency services. A range of robust contingency plans for responding to a wide range of terrorist threats continues to be regularly exercised, tested, reviewed and refined in the light of changing domestic and international circumstances.

Reports in the press at the weekend suggest that we are not prepared to deal with the security threats. Would the Minister care to deny or confirm those reports?

I do not know which reports the hon. Lady is referring to, but if she cares to pass me copies, I shall be able to comment on their accuracy or otherwise.