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How prepared and resilient is the United Kingdom to security risks?

26 Janauary 2021

The House of Lords Risk Assessment and Risk Planning Committee will tomorrow hear evidence from two panels of witnesses on the UK’s risk assessment process with regards to national security. The Committee will question experts on topics including terrorism, hostile state actors and systemic vulnerability.

The first session will take place virtually on Wednesday 27 January at 10:30am.

Giving evidence will be:

  • The Lord Ricketts GCMG GCVO (Peter Ricketts)

Questions the Committee is likely to ask Mr Ricketts include:

  • Are there security risks to which the UK is particularly vulnerable to or for which it is poorly prepared?
  • In what way do scientific advice and politics interact during the national risk assessment process?
  • How far can security threats be mitigated by UK action alone or is international cooperation required?
  • Does the UK have the requisite international partnerships and information access to ensure it can effectively manage risks?

The second session will take place at 11:30am.
Giving evidence will be:

  • Dr David Blagden, Senior Lecturer in International Security, University of Exeter
  • Ed Butler, Chief Resilience Officer, Pool Reinsurance
  • Dr Simon Harwood, Director of Defence and Security, Cranfield University
  • Suzanne Raine, Affiliated Lecturer at POLIS, University of Cambridge

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • How has the threat posed by terrorism evolved in recent years? Has the UK’s risk assessment and management strategy adapted effectively to these changes?
  • Is there an undue focus on domestic risk over threats posed by hostile foreign actors in the current national risk assessment process?
  • What challenges are there in developing resilience capability against security risks and are there any areas where UK capability should be bolstered?
  • How well are security risks presented in the National Security Risk Assessment?

The sessions can be followed on Parliament TV.

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