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National Security in Northern Ireland

Volume 558: debated on Monday 4 February 2013

The Government have received and welcomed the annual report from Lord Carlile of Berriew on the operation of arrangements for handling national security matters in Northern Ireland for the period 22 November 2011 to 11 December 2012.

Lord Carlile is briefed by both the Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Security Service for the purpose of his reports; he states that he is satisfied that the briefings he has received have been full and not selective. He states that the Security Service and the PSNI work well together and clearly in the national interest.

Lord Carlile reports that the level of terrorist activity appears broadly similar to that of the previous year; it remains a challenging and variable environment for the PSNI and Security Service. He notes the very serious incidents which took place in 2012, including the murder of David Black on 1 November, and states that the overall picture is of a very dangerous, unpredictable terrorist threat.

I welcome the content of this report and have made it available to the Home Secretary. Given its sensitive nature I do not however intend to place copies in the Library.