The United Kingdom National Security Council
Created by the Tory Government on 12 May 2010, the (NSC) of the United Kingdom is an inner Cabinet Committee gifted with the authority to oversee all issues relating to national security, intelligence coordination, and defence strategy.
The Secretary to the National Security Council (NSC) and the Cabinet Office is the Government’s most senior adviser on strategy, policy and implementation and is responsible only to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the propriety and effectiveness of government. As head of the UK Civil Service the secretary also leads over 400,000 civil servants in the UK Government and in the Devolved Administrations.
At a stroke the new systems of government increased the powers of the Prime Minister, who chairs the Council, and brought senior Cabinet ministers into national security policymaking, giving them access to the highest levels of intelligence.
From 1 April 2015, the council widened its authority through the creation of a Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, (CSSF) financed annually with a £1m annual budget.
UK National Intelligence
Headquartered in Whitehall in the City of Westminster the intelligence agencies are at the heart of the national intelligence machinery. There are three Intelligence and Security Agencies, SIS, GCHQ and MI5 at its heart, with important work also carried out by Defence Intelligence and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre.
The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
The (JIC), operates within the Cabinet Office and is responsible for assessments and intelligence briefings that look at both tactical and strategic issues of importance to national interests, primarily in the fields of security, defence and foreign affairs.
The JIC’s permanent members are senior officials from the Cabinet Office, including the JIC Chairman, the Chief of the Assessments Staff and the National Security Advisor, as well as officials from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Department for International Development, HM Treasury and the agency heads.
The JIC also feeds their assessments into the NSC which is the main forum for the collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security, in which a range of relevant departments participates.
It is charged with examining more specific national security areas and overseeing and coordinating all aspects of Britain’s security.
The Prime Minister is advised by the head of the NSC secretariat, the National Security Adviser, who is responsible for coordinating and delivering the government’s security agenda.
The United Kingdom Stabilisation Unit
The Unit has at its disposal a 1,000-strong civilian force remitted to ensure greatly enhanced capacity for planning and rapid reaction including the deployment of military reservists in a civilian capacity and police deployment. The unit’s responsibilities were expanded in 2015, (post the Scottish Referendum) to include crisis response, conflict prevention and control.
Control of the unit was transferred to the (NSC) in 2016 and its management team, located in Whitehall is allocated £1bn annually. It is now a much enlarged and more powerful cross-government team tasked with ensuring all departments of government have unfettered access to specialist support and resources when dealing with some of the trickiest policy challenges.
Dunlop on the left of picture
Tory Peer – Sir Andrew Dunlop
Never elected, yet a persistent thorn in the side of Scots for the 40 years he has been associated with the Conservative Party he was a special adviser to the Defence Secretary (1986–88) then a member of Thatcher’s Policy Unit (remember the Poll Tax) between (1988–1990).
The demise of Thatcher brought his budding career to a halt and he moved away from active politics to found and develop his own strategic communications consultancy business. Over 20 years later he sold the business, for a very tidy sum of money, to the Brussels-based Interel Group (lobbyists).
The return to power of the Tory Party in 2010 sparked his interest in politics once again and he linked up with his friend and former colleague David Cameron, taking on his former role of special advisor, (2012 to 2015), with specific responsibility as the principal adviser on Scotland and devolution.
He was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015 allowing Cameron to take him into his government where he served as an unelected minister in the UK Government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland, 2015-2017.
In the Lords, he is a member of the UK Constitution Committee and an expert member of the UK Civilian Stabilisation Group. Retaining close involvement with Scottish affairs he is currently a Board member of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.
An avowed supporter of Boris Johnson he is reputed to be formulating and implementing Tory government policies for Scotland and in this respect, he revealed his thinking on the future of Scotland, in a speech he made in the course of a debate on the “possible effects of Brexit on the stability of the Union of the parts of the United Kingdom”. He said:
“Attention should be paid to the machinery of intergovernmental relations, which needs to be strengthened. We also need to look at the cross-UK synergies, weakened since devolution, which need to be reinvigorated.
We need to pursue a decentralised, pan-UK strategy for rebalancing the economy, driven by city regions across the country. This means moving away from seeing everything through a four-nation prism.
Many of the problems confronting Glasgow, for example, are similar to those of Manchester or Birmingham. They provide embryonic structures which can be built upon. There are two years until the next Holyrood elections. Strengthening our union must be an urgent priority whatever our post-Brexit future.”
Check this chappie out a very long but enlightening read:
This then is the direction Boris Johnson is headed. So far as Scotland is concerned there will be no further independence referendums and devolution is to be rendered impotent being bypassed by UK government agencies working within but not responsible to the Scottish government.
The UK Stabilisation Unit is also closely monitoring Scottish politics, events and personalities and has resources available to deal with any disruption or attempts at destabilisation of the UK.