UK to take new approach in tackling overseas and domestic security threats


The Government will take a new integrated approach that combines how it tackles overseas and domestic security threats, Cabinet Office Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute today [26 February].

This shift will be underpinned by the transition of the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability & Security Fund (CSSF) into a new Integrated Security Fund (ISF) in April.

The CSSF was a cross-government fund that tackled security challenges overseas that threatened UK national security. Its successor the ISF will continue its important work helping to deliver the government’s national security objectives.

The transformation of the CSSF into the ISF is a natural evolution that recognises that many global challenges – cyber security, terrorism and people smuggling – also threaten us here in the UK. 

The new ISF will build on the success of the CSSF to combine our overseas and domestic security response to tackle transnational challenges threatening the UK and its partners. This integrated approach will help to address key challenges such as causes of instability and conflict, serious and organised crime, smuggling, illicit finance, cyber-attacks and illegal migration.

Minister Neville-Rolfe told delegates at RUSI on Monday: 

“The security challenges we face do not respect borders, they can happen anywhere and come from any place, at any time.

“For example, Serious Organised Crime Groups operate in multiple countries inside and outside the UK.

“We need to be able to work across borders and that is what the ISF is designed to do.”

She highlighted serious and organised crime groups operating both in the UK and overseas as an example of a priority national security challenge that the ISF has set its sights on.

In her speech at RUSI, the Minister will also set out six focus areas for the ISF’s work:

  1. Combating state threats to the UK and its interests from state-level actors, such as Russia.
  2. Combating non-state threats to the UK and its interests from terrorist groups, violent extremists, and criminal gangs.
  3. Defending against malicious cyber activity
  4. Improving understanding of the maritime domain and combating maritime threats to the UK, its allies and partners.
  5. Deploying effective economic deterrents to counter hostile acts.
  6. Addressing the causes of instability in conflict and helping those worst affected by it, including women and girls. 

The Minister also outlined the work that the new ISF will do to counter disinformation, including the threat of AI and emerging technology. She will stress the importance of this in a year with more than 70 elections scheduled to take place globally:

“Work to guard against disinformation has never been more important than in 2024; a year that sees elections in over 70 countries with a combined population of half of the world’s total.” 

Support for Ukraine remains a key priority for the Government and the Fund as they defend their country against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked attack. Last year Ukraine was the biggest single-state recipient of Official Development Assistance. It received £41 million from the ISF’s predecessor, the CSSF.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak first announced the creation of the ISF as part of the March 2023 Integrated Review Refresh.


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