National Resilience Strategy
July 2021: The UK Government has started an 11-week consultation on its development of a new National Resilience Strategy with a call for evidence seeking public views and to understand current perceptions of risk and resilience. This follows the publication of Global Britain in a competitive age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy in March this year, of which an increased focus on building national resilience is a crucial part.
The new National Resilience Strategy will set out a vision for UK resilience in 2030 and the call for evidence asks questions around six themes, according to the document. These are:
Risk and Resilience: Strengthening the ability to manage an evolving risk landscape depends on improving ability to predict and adapt to identified and unexpected challenges.
Responsibilities and Accountability: It is fundamentally important that all those involved in building resilience have a clear understanding of when, where and how to apply tools, processes and relationships effectively.
Partnerships: Resilience is not solely a government or public sector responsibility. Other parts of society play an essential role in building collective resilience.
Community: A whole-of-society approach will be central to strengthening the UK’s resilience, with a revived effort to inform and empower all parts of society who can make a contribution.
Investment: The challenge of where to place investment in the risk cycle is one that affects the public and private sectors alike. Government, individuals and businesses all face choices around what – and how much – to invest.
Resilience in an Interconnected World: UK resilience is closely entwined with the wider global context. Challenges and opportunities are frequently experienced on a global scale.
The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Paymaster General, says in the introduction to the call for evidence: “The UK, like all countries, is facing a range of complex and geographically diverse risks. Recently we have experienced the effects of extreme weather, terrorism and pandemics. We have seen cyberattacks on critical systems, geopolitical instability, and accidents. We have also seen just how quickly issues arising overseas can impact us here in the UK.
“We must prepare for a future in which we could be impacted by all of these risks and more. We need to anticipate the threats posed by rapid technological advances, antimicrobial resistance and biodiversity loss. Our approach needs to be broad: forestalling risks where possible, adapting to uncertainty, mitigating the impacts of risks that we cannot prevent, and recovering quickly so that we are always ready to rise to the next challenge.”
Among a wide range of areas, the call for evidence includes questions of monitoring existential risk, supply chains and critical infrastructure – including digital and cyber factors – as well as business continuity, funding, the role of communities in the resilience landscape and encouraging greater engagement with academia and research organisations alongside the: “… prioritisation of resilience research.”
A review of the Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 (CCA) is scheduled for March 2022. The Government says, in its consultation document that: “In considering this statutory underpinning of our resilience, we need better to understand the effectiveness of the current roles and responsibilities set out in the CCA and where improvements can be made. “This includes the legal status and categorisation of local responders; the ‘Triple Lock’ test for use of the CCA’s emergency powers; the appointment of regional coordinators; and the potential addition of legal responsibilities around recovery to the Act.”
To respond to this call for evidence please fill in the online survey (postal submissions will not be considered). The closing date for evidence is September 27, 2021.
A response to this consultation is due to be published by December 27, 2021 on the Cabinet Office website.