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Volume 592: debated on Monday 9 February 2015

It is clear that the UK faces a serious and enduring threat from terrorism. I cannot comment on intelligence matters or specific threat assessments, but I can confirm that specialist joint police, ambulance and fire teams are in place with the capability to respond to terrorist attacks in the country.

Does my hon. Friend agree that there are many potential targets in rural areas, including reservoirs, sewage plants, communication masts and electrical substations? Rural populations would face enormous difficulties if such sites were attacked. Will he assure me that such infrastructure is included in anti-terrorism planning?

Yes. We have a longstanding programme in place to ensure that the country’s most critical infrastructure is protected against terrorist threats. I cannot comment on the details, but our priority is to ensure the continuity of essential services such as water, energy and telecommunications, which were referenced by my hon. Friend.