To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 11 August (HL7558), how the reference to the answers by Lord True on 3 August to the Questions for Written Answer by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (HL7209 and HL7179) relates to the question put; and whether they will now answer the question put, namely what assessment they have made of the role of other states in national referendums in the UK in the last 10 years; if they have not made any such assessment, whether they plan to do so; if not, why not; whether they have (1) investigated, and (2) sought evidence on, the incidence of interference in the EU referendum by any hostile state; if not, why not; and what priority they give to any such investigations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 11 August (HL7557), how the reference to the answers by Lord True on 3 August to the Questions for Written Answer by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (HL7209 and HL7179) relates to the question put; and whether they will now answer the question put, namely what assessment they have made of the report by Robert Mueller Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, published in March 2019, in particular the conclusions on Russian interference; whether they plan to conduct a similar inquiry in relation to the conduct of the EU referendum in 2016; if not, why not; and why they have not yet conducted such an inquiry.
We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU Referendum or 2014 Scottish Referendum by any state. The Intelligence and Security Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity, including potential interference in UK democratic processes. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. Where new information emerges, the Government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence it develops or receives, including whether it is appropriate to make this public. Given this long standing approach, there are no plans to publish a retrospective assessment on the EU Referendum.
To continue to safeguard against future threats we are bringing forward new legislation to provide the security services and law enforcement agencies with additional tools and powers to disrupt hostile state activity.
The Government's 2019 manifesto states: "we will protect the integrity of our democracy”. As part of this, we will introduce a digital imprints regime and in August 2020 we launched a technical consultation on our proposed regime. These proposals represent a significant step forward and will make UK politics even more transparent.