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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate his Department has made of the annual cost to the public purse of the provision of security for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry.
The surveillance and security of the UK’s maritime areas and borders is the responsibility of a number of Departments and law enforcement agencies, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, DEFRA and the UK Border Force. Defence maintains a range of maritime capabilities which other Government Departments and civil powers can request under standard Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) principles. There have been no recent requests for this support for the security of the offshore oil and gas industry. If there were, and in line with HM Treasury guidance, Defence would seek to recover its costs, except where there is an immediate threat to life.