I am writing to you by way of follow up to the circular (10/16) of 21 January, which referenced discussions within the Ministry of Defence about the future security of the nuclear environment.
As noted in that circular, the Department is considering the role of the MDP with regards to the security of the nuclear environment and the potential handover of some responsibilities to the Armed Forces. These considerations have focused on financial matters, and are being taken seriously by the Department. It has identified savings that could be made through changes to security arrangements and that amount has been taken from the MDP budget.
However, it is the Federation’s understanding that final decisions on security arrangements are yet to be taken. How any such changes might be implemented is also yet to be determined.
The DPF remains firmly of the view that such changes would not be in the best interests of the MoD or national security. We are also acutely aware that the current lack of information is putting officers in a very difficult position and prompting questions about their future roles. We are continually pressing the Department for further information, which we will forward to members as soon as it is available.
We are also vigorously highlighting our concerns about potential changes to security arrangements to parliamentarians. This has included briefing the defence spokespeople of major opposition parties, and particularly briefing members of the Defence Select Committee, which takes this matter extremely seriously. Members of the Select Committee have since made numerous interventions with regard to the security of the nuclear environment to encourage further information from the Department, and to make sure decisions are fully considered and taken in a transparent and accountable way.
We apologise for being unable to provide any further information at this stage. The Federation will continue to engage with parliamentarians to ensure a high level of scrutiny on this process and to ensure information is available for members as quickly as possible.