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National Strategy for Maritime Security

Volume 580: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2014

I am today laying before the House the UK national strategy for maritime security (NSMS), which outlines for the first time the UK’s coherent and co-ordinated approach to delivering maritime security at home and internationally by explaining how we organise and use our extensive national capabilities to identify, assess and address maritime security challenges. The strategy places the maritime domain in context, highlighting its importance to UK prosperity and security and explains how, through effective collaboration across Government and with industry and our international partners, and through the integration of our assets and personnel wherever possible, we will deliver a maritime security output much greater than the sum of its parts.

The strategy’s objectives are: to promote a secure international maritime domain and uphold international maritime norms; to develop the maritime governance capacity and capabilities of states in areas of strategic maritime importance; to protect the UK and the overseas territories, their citizens and economies by supporting the safety and security of ports and offshore installations and Red Ensign Group-flagged passenger and cargo vessels; to assure the security of vital maritime trade and energy transportation routes within the UK marine area, regionally and internationally, and to protect the resources and population of the UK and the overseas territories from illegal and dangerous activity, including serious organised crime and terrorism.

The strategy also introduces a robust Government approach to maritime security decision making and confirms our commitment to preserving the flow of maritime trade and upholding international maritime law.