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Publication of Resilience Framework

Volume 725: debated on Monday 19 December 2022

I wish to inform the House that I am publishing the UK Government resilience framework further to the commitment made in the integrated review for greater strategic planning in this vital area. With the increasing volatility and inter-connectedness of risks and hazards, a strong resilience system is more important than ever. In March 2021, the integrated review committed the Government to developing a new resilience strategy to strengthen our approach to preparedness and civil protection. This new framework delivers on that commitment and takes a systemic approach to all national threats.

The UK Government’s resilience framework articulates our ongoing plan to strengthen the systems and capabilities that underpin the UK’s resilience to all civil contingencies risks, from extreme weather to supply chain challenges or public health emergencies. It is ensuring that as well as managing immediate crises, we maintain a greater collective focus on preparation and preventing crises from happening in the first place.

The framework is built around three core principles:

A shared understanding of the risks we face is essential: it must underpin everything that we do to prepare for and recover from crises;

Prevention rather than cure wherever possible: resilience-building spans the whole risk cycle so we must focus effort across the cycle, particularly before crises happen; and

Resilience is a ‘whole of society’ endeavour: so we must be more transparent and empower everyone to make a contribution.

Work is already underway across Government to deliver on these principles and act on lessons from recent crises, but the framework outlines our further ambition on priorities such as:

Becoming more transparent on the risks we face so that businesses, charities, individuals and all levels of Government can prepare.

Protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and helping responders to target support effectively before, during, and after emergencies.

Strengthening accountability on resilience within Government and externally, including through an annual statement to Parliament on civil contingency risk and resilience.

Ensuring that local resilience forums have the resources, capacity, information, and capability needed to plan for and respond to the risks that we face.

Incentivising and supporting businesses, including operators of Critical National Infrastructure, to strengthen their resilience to real world risks.

Implementation of the proposals in the framework has already started. We have already made changes at the centre of Government to strengthen our approach to long-term resilience and short-term crisis management, and to embed a culture of resilience in all Government Departments. We have refreshed the classified national security risk assessment and will update the public version, the national risk register, in the new year.

The Prime Minister has approved a new sub-committee of the National Security Council on resilience which I will chair. I look forward to establishing the committee in the new year, when the terms of reference and membership will be published in the usual way.

I have requested that a copy of the resilience framework be deposited in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.