National Security Council (United Kingdom)

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United Kingdom
National Security Council
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Committee overview
Formed 12 May 2010
Committee executives
Parent department Cabinet Office
Website National Security Council

The National Security Council (NSC) of the United Kingdom is a Cabinet Committee tasked with overseeing all issues related to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy. The terms of reference of the National Security Council are to consider matters relating to national security, foreign policy, defence, international relations and international development, resilience, energy and resource security.

History[edit]

The NSC was established on 12 May 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron. The Council will coordinate responses to threats faced by the United Kingdom and integrating at the highest level the work of relevant government entities with respect to national security.[1] The United Kingdom National Security Adviser is secretary to the council.

From 1 April 2015 the council oversaw the newly created Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, a fund of more than £1 billion pounds per year for tackling conflict and instability abroad.[2]

Council Membership[edit]

As of October 2016, following Theresa May's 12 July appointment as prime minister, membership was:.[3][4]

Image Officeholder Office(s)
Theresa May 2015.jpg The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Prime Minister (Chairman)
Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence.jpg The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
Boris Johnson July 2015.jpg The Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP Foreign Secretary
Amber Rudd 2015.jpg The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Home Secretary
Gregclark.jpg The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Secretary of State Michael Fallon.jpg The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Defence Secretary
Priti Patel Minister.jpg The Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP International Development Secretary
Jeremy Wright, Attorney General for England and Wales.jpg The Rt Hon. Jeremy Wright MP Attorney General

Other government ministers, senior officials, military and intelligence officers attend as necessary, some on a regular basis. The Chief of the Defence Staff represents the Chiefs of Staff Committee at the NSC, not individual Chiefs of each service.[5] There are two subcommittees of the NSC,[6] Nuclear Deterrence and Security and Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies. The Leader of the Opposition, has attended on an occasional basis.

Council Subcommittees[edit]

Nuclear Deterrence and Security Subcommittee[edit]

The Nuclear Deterrence and Security Subcommittee is a restricted attendance subcommittee of the National Security Council with the terms of references to consider issues relating to nuclear deterrence and security.[7]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Prime Minister (Chairman)
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP Foreign Secretary
The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Home Secretary
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Defence Secretary
The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP Business Secretary (as required)

Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies Subcommittee[edit]

The Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the National Security Council with the terms of references to consider issues relating to terrorism and other security threats, hazards, resilience and intelligence policy and the performance and resources of the security and intelligence agencies; and report as necessary to the National Security Council.[7]

Officeholder Office(s)
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP Prime Minister (Chairman)
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP Foreign Secretary
The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP Home Secretary
The Rt Hon. Greg Clark MP Business Secretary
The Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP Communities Secretary
The Rt Hon. Karen Bradley MP Culture Secretary
The Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP Defence Secretary
The Rt Hon. Justine Greening MP Education Secretary
The Rt Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP Environment Secretary
The Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP Health Secretary
The Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP International Development Secretary
The Rt Hon. Liz Truss MP Justice Secretary
The Rt Hon. James Brokenshire MP Northern Ireland Secretary
The Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP Transport Secretary
The Rt. Hon. Ben Gummer Minister for the Cabinet Office

When intelligence matters are discussed by the subcommittee there is restricted attendance to Prime Minister (Chairman), Deputy Prime Minister (Deputy Chairman), Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for the Home Department, and Secretary of State for Defence.

National Security Secretariat[edit]

From July 2010, there were two Deputy National Security Advisers (DNSAs): Julian Miller for Foreign & Defence Policy and Oliver Robbins for Intelligence, Security & Resilience.[8] By March 2013, Hugh Powell - previously a National Security Secretariat Director - had been promoted to a newly created third DNSA position.[9] As of 6 November 2014, the three DNSAs were: Hugh Powell as DNSA (Foreign Policy), Julian Miller as DNSA (Defence, Nuclear and Strategy) and Paddy McGuinness as DNSA (Intelligence, Security & Resilience).[10] As of 10 February 2015, Liane Saunders - previously the National Security Secretariat's Director for Foreign Policy and its Afghanistan/Pakistan Coordinator - was described as an Acting Deputy National Security Adviser (Conflict, Stability and Foreign Policy).[11]

On 16 June 2016, the Cabinet Office released staff data, correct as of 31 March 2016, listing two current Deputy National Security Advisers: Paddy McGuinness (responsible for Intelligence, Security and Resilience) and Gwyn Jenkins (responsible for Conflict, Stability & Defence).[12] Jenkins appears to have been in post since at least June 2015.[13] Prior to becoming a deputy National Security Adviser, Jenkins was the military assistant to prime minister David Cameron.[14]

As of early December 2014, the National Security Secretariat was staffed by 180 officials[15] and comprises five directorates: Foreign & Defence Policy; the Civil Contingencies Secretariat; Security & Intelligence; the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, and UK Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT UK).[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Press Notice: Establishment of a National Security Council". Prime Minister's Office. 12 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Conflict, Stability and Security Fund inquiry launched". Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. UK Parliament. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Joe Devanny. "Could Theresa May's appointment prompt a rethink of how Whitehall does national security?". Civil Service World. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  4. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/560912/cabinet_committees_list_18_10_2016.pdf
  5. ^ "House of Commons - Decision-making in Defence Policy - Defence". Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cabinet Committee Memberships" (PDF). Cabinet Office HM Government. June 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  7. ^ a b [1] UK Cabinet Committees Membership
  8. ^ "Cabinet Office Structure Charts, page 12" (PDF). Cabinet Office HM Government. May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Cabinet Office staff and salary data – senior posts as at 31 March 2013". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Dr Joe Devanny & Josh Harris. "The National Security Council: national security at the centre of government". Institute for Government & King's College London. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Sophia Adhami. "Security and Diversity". Cabinet Office. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Cabinet Office staff and salary data: senior posts as at 31 March 2016". Cabinet Office. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "KRG Deputy PM meets UK officials". Kurdistan Regional Government. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  14. ^ "Letter from the Military Assistant" (PDF). Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "National Security Council:Written question - 215980". Retrieved 15 December 2014. 

External links[edit]