Resilience Strategy Call for Evidence

Closes 27 Sep 2021

Opened 13 Jul 2021

Overview

Foreword by the Paymaster General

In March, the Government published our vision for the UK's role in the world over the next decade: 'Global Britain in a competitive age: The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy'. It describes the safety and protection of UK Nationals as the Government’s first duty. A crucial part of this is an increased focus on building national resilience. 


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 cyber attacks 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. 


We have strong foundations on which to build. Our current resilience is based on vital contributions from across society, from world-class emergency services, to the voluntary sector, to our flexible and responsive armed forces. We are safer as citizens because of the dedication of those who work towards our resilience.


But the pandemic has challenged us all to consider whether that is enough. Change is required. We need to be better able to deal with ‘whole-system’ emergencies, and we need to foster a whole of society approach to both preparedness and response.  All parts of the UK must work together, with better cooperation between all levels of government. We must work with businesses and industry to strengthen the resilience of our systems and infrastructure. We must energise and empower UK citizens and communities who can make a real contribution to the national resilience effort. We must strengthen international collaboration to address shared global challenges. Everyone has a part to play, and only by working together will we harness our potential.


This Call for Evidence is the start of a national conversation on how this can be delivered in practice, and what role we all could and should play. To that end, we want to understand and incorporate as many of your views as possible. Your engagement with the questions in this Call for Evidence will help the Government develop plans to build a safer and more prosperous UK. I encourage you to take the time to consider the issues at stake here, and I thank you in advance for your contribution on this vital piece of our national security.


The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP
Paymaster General

Why your views matter

Resilience has long been an integral part of the UK’s approach to national security and crisis management. We have well-tested risk assessment, risk management, and response and recovery measures in place to cover a wide range of scenarios. 

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that there are elements of our approach to national and local resilience that we need to strengthen. When tested by the wide-ranging and systemic impacts of the pandemic, they did not always deliver and our preparedness was less complete and coherent than it could have been. The pandemic highlighted areas where roles, resources and responsibilities of those involved in response could have been clearer, and areas in our systems where we could consider a different approach or further investment. It highlighted the importance of considering our domestic resilience in a global context.

Covid-19 also presented opportunities to learn and find new ways to respond. For example, it required us to ask a far wider range of individuals and organisations to take part in the response. We saw military resources deployed, huge numbers of people volunteering to support the NHS, and furloughed workers filling other key roles. 

All of these lessons reflect the ambition outlined in the Integrated Review to increase our national resilience by developing a National Resilience Strategy.

Every individual citizen and organisation has a part to play in making the UK more resilient. Building nationwide resilience is a national endeavour. To develop an effective strategy for UK resilience, it is essential that we understand and incorporate a wide range of views and evidence on what our priorities should be, and how we want to approach our future resilience. Your engagement with the questions in this Call for Evidence will provide an invaluable contribution to this work.

Alongside this Call for Evidence, we will be conducting wider engagement with local resilience partners, businesses, academics and the public.  This will help us to reach as many individuals and groups as possible.


This Call for Evidence also includes some specific questions on the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA). These have been included to support the scheduled review of the Act, which will be completed by March 2022.

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