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Security Situation

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 23rd February 2005.

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Photo of Andrew MacKay Andrew MacKay Conservative, Bracknell 11:30 am, 23rd February 2005

If he will make a statement on the security situation in the Province.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office

Paramilitary activity by republicans and loyalists continues in various forms, although it is at a relatively low level compared to previous years.

Photo of Andrew MacKay Andrew MacKay Conservative, Bracknell

Can the Minister give a categorical assurance that, in the present difficult circumstances, there will be no troop reductions in the Province and that no military installations will be removed?

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office

No, I cannot give that assurance. The assurance that I can give is that the Army will always provide the level of support to the police that is appropriate and necessary, given an assessment of the threat. We will not take any risks with the security of the people of Northern Ireland, but it is important that we use our resources in the most effective manner. That means ensuring that they are deployed against the threat that exists. Therefore, we will look at these matters from time to time, in a sensible and responsible way.