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Written Statements

Volume 608: debated on Thursday 14 April 2016

Written Statements

Thursday 14 April 2016

Cabinet Office

UK Cyber Security Strategy: Annual Report

In 2010, the national security strategy identified cyber as a tier 1 threat to the UK. In November 2011, we published the UK national cyber security strategy.

From 2011 to 2016, the Government funded a £860 million national cyber security programme to deliver the strategy’s vision of “a vibrant, resilient and secure cyberspace”. The objectives of this programme aimed to:

Make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace.

Make the UK more resilient to cyber-attack and better able to protect our interests in cyberspace.

Help shape an open, vibrant and stable cyberspace that supports open societies.

Build the UK’s cyber-security knowledge, skills and capability.

We have presented regular reports to Parliament on progress against the strategy’s objectives. Today I am publishing the final report for the programme.

The report summarises progress during 2015-16 against the strategy’s objectives, reviews the impact of the programme since it was established, and looks ahead to the new 2016 national cyber security strategy and programme.

There has been significant progress towards reaching these goals. As a result of programme initiatives:

We have enhanced national capabilities to protect and defend ourselves against those who would do us harm.

Businesses of all sizes and sectors are now better protected.

We have a greater share of the international cyber security market.

Our online Government services are increasingly secure.

We are actively tackling cyber-crime.

We are playing a leading role in international cyber security.

We are actively building our cyber skills and knowledge.

In partnership with business, the academic community and international partners, we have built a solid foundation for the future. We are grateful to partners for their collaboration and efforts. The Government cannot deliver these goals on their own.

Against a backdrop of increased threats we have improved the UK’s effort to enhance cyber security. But there is more to do. The 2015 national security strategy confirmed that cyber remains a tier 1 threat to the UK’s economic and national security. As a result, the Government will publish a new national cyber security strategy this year, which will define our vision and ambition for the future. The Government will further increase investment in cyber security to £1.9 billion over the next five years.

We will continue to report progress to Parliament.


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

European Union: Rights and Obligations of Membership

I have today laid before both Houses a paper on the rights and obligations arising under EU law as a result of UK membership of the EU. This paper represents the second and final part of the report that the Government have published to meet the requirement of section 7(1) of the European Union Referendum Act 2015. The first part, “Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union”, was published on 2 March 2016. Both parts of the report are now available to read together on the website.


Foreign Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council (Defence)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 18 April. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (defence) on 19 April. The Foreign Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council (defence) will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meetings will be held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

The agenda for the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) is expected to include Colombia, migration, Eastern Partners and the EU regional strategy for Syria/Iraq/Daesh. An informal lunch will take place with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, and a joint dinner between Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers will cover Libya.


Ministers will have an informal session with Colombia’s High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo. This is an opportunity for an update on the Colombia peace process, progress on negotiations, and Colombian plans for post conflict implementation. The UK has been a strong supporter of the peace process and recently steered a resolution through the UN Security Council, securing unanimous approval for a UN role in monitoring and verification.

External aspects of migration

Ministers will exchange views on the external aspects of migration, as part of the EU’s ongoing efforts to reduce irregular migration into Europe. This is in line with the March European Council’s commitment to tackle the migration crisis through a comprehensive strategy.

Lunch with UNHCR, Filippo Grandi

The lunch will focus on the global refugee crisis. Given Grandi’s remit, and the proximity of the FAC to the World Humanitarian summit (23-24 May), there is likely to be some discussion of the summit, and reform of the global humanitarian system more broadly.

EU regional strategy for Syria/Iraq/Daesh

We expect the FAC to include an update from Mogherini on progress towards reviewing the EU’s regional strategy for Syria, Iraq and Daesh, which was adopted by the FAC in March 2015. The recent attacks in Brussels and Paris demonstrate Daesh’s resolve to attack Europe within our own borders. EU Interior Ministers have agreed measures to combat terrorism, especially the threat from Daesh. The EU must also do all it can to defeat and degrade Daesh in its heartland in Iraq and Syria, which includes political transition in Syria.

Eastern Partners

Ministers are expected to exchange views on recent developments in the six Eastern Partnership states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.


The EU will play an important role in providing immediate support to a Government of National Accord (GNA). We will encourage the EU to develop its options for support based on the needs of the GNA in co-ordination with the UN. The FAC will also cover options for a possible common security and defence policy (CSDP) mission to support the Libyan GNA.

Foreign Affairs Council (Defence)

The Foreign Affairs Council (defence) will be preceded by the European Defence Agency (EDA) steering board and will meet in ministerial format. There will be no political decisions made on the EDA budget at this meeting; this will be addressed at the autumn steering board. The agenda will cover the implementation of key taskings and next steps, which includes: the policy framework for defence co-operation; hybrid warfare and the preparatory action for CSDP-related research.

The FAC(D) will receive an update on the development of capacity building for security and development (CBSD). Ministers will discuss the joint EEAS/Commission communication “Countering Hybrid Threats” and look at how to implement the actions proposed, including how to enhance work with NATO in this area. Ministers will also be asked to agree Council decisions on the revised EUTM Mali mandate and the establishment of a new EUTM in the Central African Republic.