Joint Statement from the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence

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DayneD89
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Joint Statement from the Foreign Office and the Ministry of DefenceOn the 4th of March 2018, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, after exposure to a nerve agent. Sergei Skripal is a former Russian spy, having been involved in a spy exchange in 2010. Following the horrific incident, Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition in hospital. In the first response, Detective Sergant Nick Bailey was exposed to the nerve agent and is currently in hospital. The thoughts of this Government and the whole house are with the Skirpal's and DS Bailey, who exemplifies the best of what this country has.
An investigation is currently ongoing, with Theresa May revealing on Monday that the nerve agent used is one known as Novichok, almost certainly produced by the Russian state. With this information in mind, it has been concluded that it is “highly likely” Russia are behind the attack. A deadline of the end of Tuesday was given by the British government for Russia to respond to these allegations, and following their failure to do this, Theresa May took action to expel 23 diplomats, bring forward legislation concerning the 'Magnitsky Act', and evaluate legislation to allow state operated agents to be stopped at the border and detained if necessary. This Government fully endorses the moves of the Prime Minister and has decided to take several other steps where we feel appropriate.

The government believes a strong response is needed in solidarity with our NATO partners. As a result, this government has informed the NATO Secretary General of our intention to call a NATO summit of Defence Ministers and reacting under the authority in Article 5. An attack against one is an attack against all. Such a serious attack must be met with suitable sanctions and this will be explored with the EU and NATO. In addition to this, the Government will bring forward any legislation needed to ensure a British Magnitsky Act is in full force within 24 months. This government will also review this legislation, with the aim being that anyone who has materially assisted in these abuses are liable to having their assets frozen, with visa restrictions also to be considered.

To conclude, we would like to reiterate that Article 51 of the United Nations Charter enshrines the right to self defense and any actions we are taking are under the authority of this Article. Following this abhorrent incident, this government would like to make clear that the UK will stand robust against any abuses on its soil, and we do not rule out further action on the matter. This Government will keep the house updated on any further action that we do take.

The Rt Hon. LifeIsFine MP (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

The Rt Hon. Connor27 MP (Secretary of State for Defence)
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Connor27
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A brave and admirable statement from myself and LifeIsFine. It shows that this government will not be pushed around on foreign policy and that we are willing to take a tough stance against aggression against Britain and her subjects.
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TheDefiniteArticle
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'The government believes a strong response is needed in solidarity with our NATO partners. As a result, this government has informed the NATO Secretary General of our intention to call a NATO summit of Defence Ministers and reacting under the authority in Article 5. An attack against one is an attack against all. Such a serious attack must be met with suitable sanctions and this will be explored with the EU and NATO. In addition to this, the Government will bring forward any legislation needed to ensure a British Magnitsky Act is in full force within 24 months. This government will also review this legislation, with the aim being that anyone who has materially assisted in these abuses are liable to having their assets frozen, with visa restrictions also to be considered.'

Can you provide more explanation of this paragraph?
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Brucy's Beach
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The Government wants to invoke an article that cannot be invoked because an armed attack has not taken place. I hope this is an oversight from the Government. The rest of this is reaffirming what is already known and calling for the joint sanctions which is hardly surprising when sanctions is the latest craze in the diplomatic circles at the moment. Is this the quality output Connor27 believes the Government will produce?
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Connor27
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(Original post by Brucy's Beach)
The Government wants to invoke an article that cannot be invoked because an armed attack has not taken place. I hope this is an oversight from the Government. The rest of this is reaffirming what is already known and calling for the joint sanctions which is hardly surprising when sanctions is the latest craze in the diplomatic circles at the moment. Is this the quality output Connor27 believes the Government will produce?
Was 9/11 an armed attack?
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Brucy's Beach
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(Original post by Connor27)
Was 9/11 an armed attack?
If the US government defined it as one, yes.
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Jammy Duel
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Half the statement is filler, the only difference to S31 is this was in plain English, such a lengthy summary of this week's news was totally unnecessary, all that was needed was a one or two line summary and statement the TSR government is behind the RL government.

I suspect article 5 will be rejected, 24 months is also a very long time, especially given partial implementation can be done now for Magnitsky. I'm guessing the government doesn't to actually bring anything forward and as such I guess this means the government is starting as it means to go on: all talk no action.
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username1450924
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M
(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Half the statement is filler, the only difference to S31 is this was in plain English, such a lengthy summary of this week's news was totally unnecessary, all that was needed was a one or two line summary and statement the TSR government is behind the RL government.

I suspect article 5 will be rejected, 24 months is also a very long time, especially given partial implementation can be done now for Magnitsky. I'm guessing the government doesn't to actually bring anything forward and as such I guess this means the government is starting as it means to go on: all talk no action.
The 24 months is an oversight, and I believe my right honourable friend the defence secretary is planning on getting legislation to the house within the next few weeks?

Connor27
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Tommy1boy)
M
The 24 months is an oversight, and I believe my right honourable friend the defence secretary is planning on getting legislation to the house within the next few weeks?

Connor27
Actually all that is needed to get started is a Statutory Instrument from I think it's home
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Brucy's Beach)
Much like Hazzer's sex life.
unnecessary
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The PoliticalGuy
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What a load of waffle...
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Connor27
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(Original post by The PoliticalGuy)
What a load of waffle...
Like half the rubbish your party released last term in foreign policy.

Side note but I can confirm that the 24 months is an oversight, that section was written by LifeIsFine so he’ll need to confirm what he was getting at there. My Magnitsky Bill will be up in due course.
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Brucy's Beach
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(Original post by Connor27)
Like half the rubbish your party released last term in foreign policy.

Side note but I can confirm that the 24 months is an oversight, that section was written by LifeIsFine so he’ll need to confirm what he was getting at there. My Magnitsky Bill will be up in due course.
You couldn't be more defensive if you had the entirety of the world's armies behind you.
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Saracen's Fez
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What action do the ministers think would be reasonable were NATO to unite behind the government's position and opt to act?
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Connor27
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
'The government believes a strong response is needed in solidarity with our NATO partners. As a result, this government has informed the NATO Secretary General of our intention to call a NATO summit of Defence Ministers and reacting under the authority in Article 5. An attack against one is an attack against all. Such a serious attack must be met with suitable sanctions and this will be explored with the EU and NATO. In addition to this, the Government will bring forward any legislation needed to ensure a British Magnitsky Act is in full force within 24 months. This government will also review this legislation, with the aim being that anyone who has materially assisted in these abuses are liable to having their assets frozen, with visa restrictions also to be considered.'

Can you provide more explanation of this paragraph?
What in particular would you like to know more about?
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Connor27
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
What action do the ministers think would be reasonable were NATO to unite behind the government's position and opt to act?
Personally, I think a redoubling of the number of NATO troops stationed in the Baltic states would be a good start, to act as a warning sign for Putin.

If similar acts continue by the Russian government as to what we saw in Salisbury; then NATO would be fully prepared for a potential military reprisal, and the Baltic states would have a bulwark preventing Putin from making an expansionist plays similar to what we’ve seen in Estonia and the Crimea in the past few years.
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Saunders16
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I am glad to see our government take firm action and present an image of strength in these troubling times.
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TheDefiniteArticle
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(Original post by Connor27)
What in particular would you like to know more about?
I know precious little about foreign policy or international law, and haven't been keeping too close tabs on Salisbury. Please explain 'Article 5' and 'Magnitsky Act' in particular.
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Connor27
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(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
I know precious little about foreign policy or international law, and haven't been keeping too close tabs on Salisbury. Please explain 'Article 5' and 'Magnitsky Act' in particular.
Article 5 is a principle of NATO that dictates that an attack on one member of NATO, is an attack on all members of NATO (collective security). Following 9/11 for instance, the Bush administration in America invoked article 5 to ensure that all of NATO led a coordinated response to the Islamic terror, which of course eventually resulted in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The principle is the same here, since Salisbury is, at this point, virtually proved beyond reasonable doubt to have been orchestrated by the Russian state.

The Magnitsky Act is a piece of legislation in America passed by Barack Obama following the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian whistleblower who died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million fraud job that implicated Russian government officials; in short Magnitsky was accused of committing the fraud himself by Putin and detained. What happened next is debatable but Magnitsky died in prison and its widely believed that the Russian government organised his assassination. The Act itself was introduced by American lawmakers to punish the Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of its banking system; our government is proposing an identical bill as retribution for Salisbury.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Saunders16)
I am glad to see our government take firm action and present an image of strength in these troubling times.
Firm action? it's all gesture. NATO won't accept article 5 and the rest is along the "review to avoid having to do anything" lines. The only firm action is expelling the diplomats but that isn't firm because it's canon.
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