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Review UK-Ireland defence and security cooperation, say UK-Irish lawmakers

Added 16-May-2023

An interim report from the European Affairs Committee of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly calls for a more collaborative approach to defence and security between the UK, Ireland, and the European Union, in response to the threat from Russia.

Download full interim report on UK-EU defence and security cooperation post-Brexit here.

While today’s report finds evidence of “significant cooperation” across BIPA jurisdictions and between the UK and EU in support of Ukraine, it concludes that greater collaboration can be achieved in areas of security and defence, including cyber and hybrid risks while being mindful of Ireland’s traditional neutrality.

The Committee’s inquiry into UK-EU Defence and Security Cooperation followed the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is considering the response of the UK, Ireland, Crown Dependencies and EU to the conflict, as well as collaboration on cyber security and intelligence and policing.

Lawmakers found that the UK, Ireland, Crown Dependencies and the European Union should cooperate more effectively on sanctions and protecting critical infrastructure. This follows recent reports of attempted hacks and Russian vessels positioned around undersea power and communications cables.

The report also recommends:


 Committee Chair, Darren Millar MS, said:

“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has put security and defence at the top of the political agenda across the European continent and beyond.

“While it is clear that there is excellent collaboration on these matters between the UK, Ireland and the EU, and the EU and NATO, there are clearly vulnerabilities which still need to be addressed, including the exposure of offshore infrastructure off Ireland’s Atlantic coast and in the North Sea, along with the growing threats posed by hybrid warfare and cyber-attacks.”

He added:

“The interim report represents the initial part of the Committee’s inquiry and we will be moving forward on to the final sessions of our inquiry, the next of which will take place in Dublin, to take further evidence which will inform our final report. We hope to present this at the 65th Plenary in Ireland later this year.”

A full list of the conclusions and recommendations can be found in the attached report, along with the Committee’s terms of reference and background information for the inquiry.



For more on BIPA, see here.

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