My Intervention in the Ministerial Statement on National Security

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): What urgent action will the Government take so that we grow more of our own food, produce more of our own oil and gas, and refill our depleted reservoirs? Having more domestic supply of the basics is now fundamental to national security, given the obvious threats from Russia and others.

Tom Tugendhat MP, Minister of State for Security: I will not comment on the details of the taskforce, but I think I can safely say that that is a little beyond even what I was hoping for. I will not go into details, except to say that my right hon. Friend is absolutely right: the reality is that supply chains in our country and around the world have changed as covid has influenced different issues, and sadly the nature of the decoupling that some states have sought to pursue has changed the way in which we must consider our own security.


  1. Cliff. Wokingham.
    November 2, 2022

    Agree one hundred percent with you Sir John.
    Whilst we are reliant on other nations for basic essential items or indeed services, so we make ourselves vulnerable. It was a lesson we learned during Ww2. We were nearly starved into submission by the Nazi blockade of shipping.
    Food, energy, fuel and military hardware in my opinion are the least we need to be self sufficient in.
    In an ever changing world, it is impossible to know what alliances will be formed in the future so it is political folly, if not negligence to leave our nation vulnerable to a lack of supplies. Even ppe in a pandemic was negligent in my opinion.

    1. graham1946
      November 3, 2022

      The young, and I include many MP’s in that bracket, don’t learn because they look askance at history. According to most that I have heard from, nothing much happened before 1997 and anything before that does not interest them.

  2. Donna
    November 2, 2022

    Let me guess …. Remainer Tugendhat would like us to cosy up to the EU even more than we already are. We’re not allowed to have national energy or food security.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 2, 2022

      Sir John’s lifetime work of brexit is putting food producers out of business left, right and centre. Ask the seafood, cheese and meat exporters whose main market has been hobbled. Ask the farmers what they think of the Tory idea of deregulation to allow cheap inferior US and other food into the UK.

      1. Shirley M
        November 3, 2022

        The inferior food comes from the EU. Do you remember the EU making a big fuss over Brexit, claiming the UK would lower its food standards. In the end, it was the EU that lowered THEIR food standards. Surely this gives the UK good reason to reject some EU produce? In the EU, hypocrisy and double standards abound. Anything to give the EU an advantage is allowed. Things we always expect from the EU, and sadly our politicians seem to following the same undemocratic direction as it gives them more power over the people and avoids democracy giving the ‘wrong’ result.

        1. Ian B
          November 3, 2022

          @Shirley M +1, yes. EU doesn’t have proper standards, just convoluted words dressed up that are solely about protectionism.

      2. Peter2
        November 3, 2022

        Ask the customers first perhaps NHL

        1. hefner
          November 9, 2022

          Well, as a ‘travelling’ customer may I say that I can get better vegetables and fruits on the local market in ‘my’ little town in South of France than what I get for almost twice the price from my local Waitrose.

          And to answer Shirley and Ian, they make the usual error of considering the EU as one entity: Day-to-day food in Italy, Spain, Greece and France (countries I have known for tens of years) is on average much better in quality, variety and usually cheaper than the average food in the South of England.

      3. a-tracy
        November 3, 2022

        That is shocking, NLH where did you read that about UK food producers? The UK public need to start supporting supermarkets that buy British-made food. Do you have a link to which food producers have gone out of business due to being unable to export to the EU? Is it a certain food, was the food imported from elsewhere and not made in the UK primarily, I’m interested in what food has been stopped going into the EU and have we stopped importing the same food from the EU.

        I thought we had bought a ‘trade and cooperation agreement’, which is why we still allow the EU to trade freely with us without any restriction because it was reciprocal.

    2. X-Tory
      November 2, 2022

      Obviously not.

      When Tugendhat the Traitor says that what Sir John proposed was “beyond even what I was hoping for” he reveals that neither food nor energy security and independence are what the government is planning for.

      We are governed by traitors. Sir John has the right ideas but is completely ignored. The only solution is to kick the Conservative Party out and start again.

    3. Hope
      November 2, 2022

      Remainers and EU want Interdependent with everything to keep UK tied to EU. UK should not have electric interconnectors with France, Holland and Germany. UK should be independent from them full stop.

      Let us hope Tugendhat gets disqualified from driving on Friday. Will he resign?

      1. a-tracy
        November 3, 2022

        Hope, I read he only had 6 points, so with an extra 3 for telephone offence he will have 9 with another 3 to go before he runs the risk of losing his licence.

  3. ChrisS
    November 2, 2022

    Perhaps at least one step in the right direction from a minister. We will have to wait to see the detail.

    Two in one day – that’s a bit of a record – with the Home Secretary saying that she it to fast-track the deportation of Albanians who arrive by dinghy. (if she is allowed to by the courts).
    Some rapid changes in the law are required so it will be interested to see who opposes those measures in Parliament.
    Labour please note : voters will be watching, particularly those in the Red Wall seats, and they won’t forget.

  4. Excalibur
    November 2, 2022

    If, as has been reported, Vladimir Putin has pancreatic cancer, I believe his actions could become more extreme. The survival rate from this cancer is less than ten per cent. He will feel he has nothing to lose by raising the stakes, even the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Your concerns are well founded, JR.

    1. Hat man
      November 2, 2022

      As has been reported where, Excalibur? The MI6 in-house journal The Guardian? If you were to follow actual events rather than the Anglosphere media, you would know that Putin gave a four-hour marathon performance the other day at the Valdai conference, including two or three hours of unscripted questions which he answered impromptu. That doesn’t sound to me like a sick man. The national leader that recently said explicitly they would be prepared to use nuclear weapons, if the situation called for it, was our late prime minister. Again, if you’ve been following, you’ll know that Putin’s most recent pronouncement is that he ‘will wait’ until Ukraine is ready to negotiate.

      This country needs to defend its own interests, militarily and economically. By prolonging a war in which we have no stake, we’re doing neither. I would welcome a budget on 17th November which at last displayed some realism on our foreign policy commitments.

      1. Excalibur
        November 3, 2022

        It is because I follow events that I was able to see the report which you obviously didn’t. You are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I repeat I believe Putin will use tactical nuclear weapons. Beware little men with power.

      2. a-tracy
        November 3, 2022

        Interesting Hat Man thank you.
        However, how can the Ukraine ‘negotiate’ having a part of their Country invaded and taken over?
        The Donbas may have Russians living there, but if we took in so many Albanians and they all lived in Sussex together how would the UK ‘negotiate’ if they then wanted to redesignate Sussex as Albanian territory?

        1. Mitchel
          November 4, 2022

          Irrelevant – the Donbass was gifted to “Ukraine” by Lenin.It is,as Putin has said many times,an artificial state.

          1. a-tracy
            November 5, 2022

            Mitchel, how long had Russia owned it? 100 years have passed how long do Countires have to take back gifted land? Russia could lose some important land if you could just take gifted land back, I read this after your comments, some interesting thoughts.

    2. Neil Sutherland
      November 4, 2022

      It would appear that Biden has cognitive problems. What could be causing them?

  5. Lifelogic
    November 2, 2022

    Exactly right JR but we are ruled by idiotic priests of the climate alarmist religion. More interested in tackling an imaginary problem for 100 years time rather than the many real problems here & now – border control, energy prices, the NHS, the Sunak & Net Zero caused inflation, the economy, the vast state waste, the education system, the plastic and misdirected police, the absurdly high taxes, the vast over regulation of everything, the lack of houses… much easier to “solve” a non existent distant problem for politicians.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 2, 2022

      Reliable & on demand energy is vital for national security as is control of our borders.

    2. Bloke
      November 2, 2022

      You list many problems, and numerous others prevail. It is strange that Conservative govts have allowed them to fester and worsen with tolerance. It feels as if too many daft people have been in control for such a long time. Mrs Thatcher faced problems but acted swiftly and efficiently toward solutions.

  6. Lifelogic
    November 2, 2022

    So the deluded socialist Sunak is now going to go to the COP27 bean fest. By private jet with many other one assumes.

    He too now thinks it is easier to “tackle” an imaginary non problem to wrongly claim to save people and the World in 100 years time rather than address the many real problems here & now. Many of which were caused by his tax, borrow, lock down, the ineffective and dangerous vaccines, the endless waste and money printing/inflation lunacy and this net zero/climate alarmist, and so called “renewables”.

    1. Donna
      November 2, 2022

      Darren Grimes comment sums up the situation:

      “Rishi WILL now attend the COP climate conference. Personally, I’m delighted. I can’t think of anything more important for our Prime Minister to do than hobnob with world leaders during an international gas shortage on how we can make that shortage 10 times worse.”

    2. MPC
      November 2, 2022

      Yes, see Sunak’s statement about attending COP – your use of the word deluded is entirely appropriate. All hope of sensible evidence based policy is surely gone now.

    3. formula57
      November 2, 2022

      @ Lifelogic – true, but parking him in Egypt for a while may lessen the damage he would otherwise do here. (Is his true mission to keep an eye on Boris Cincinnatus?)

    4. Mickey Taking
      November 2, 2022

      Johnson has pulled his **** so now under pressure and potential vote losing, Sunak decides he does indeed spare the time to go on the networking jolly.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      November 2, 2022

      A backbone of jelly, as we thought. Thinks he’s the cat’s pyjamas, but just too inexperienced and young to have decent judgement.

    6. Hope
      November 2, 2022

      Sunak is weak, weak, weak follower not leader.

  7. rose
    November 2, 2022

    Very clear and pertinent question, the most important question at the moment, and one which every bit of government should be dealing with.

    Very odd answer. But then it was a vain and vacuous performance generally.

  8. Ian B
    November 2, 2022

    The Government is Elected to serve the People of the UK. To succeed at that it is their duty to secure the safety, security and resilience of the UK Economy. Before they can even contemplate anything else

    Their, lets call it ‘Political Pragmatic’ approach in their refusal to defend everyone in the UK before those that are controlled by foreign domains is appalling.

    It is still a case the People and the Governments can have everything when there is in the first place a strong resilient economy. Government reaching deeper into the Taxpayers pockets to pay their own wages and build their personal thiefdoms, is not an economy, it is not safety and security, that’s suicide for the Nation. Are we seeing the true colours of the Conservative Party in action

  9. Shirley M
    November 2, 2022

    As usual, a non-answer, so we can safely assume the government has no plans to make us self sufficient in anything. A population explosion via immigration also exacerbates this problem and makes us even more reliant on imports, potentially from hostile nations.

    1. Michelle
      November 2, 2022

      Mind boggling isn’t it.
      Let’s not forget politicians are masters of the art of never answering a straight question with a straight answer.

    2. rose
      November 2, 2022

      They have told farmers they wish to take an area the size of Lancashire out of farming. This is Dutch behaviour and very alarming. Their excuse is it will be land which is not good land, but they ignore the fact most grazing land is not “good” land. Are they intending to stop us producing our own food, and especially our own meat?

      1. anon
        November 3, 2022

        Create an interdependent pan eu city which traverses borders. That diminishes nation states.
        Creating facts on the ground.

  10. glen cullen
    November 2, 2022

    SirJ I applaud your question and thank you for lifting your head above the parapet again and again. However I’d question the validity of response from Tom Tugendhat MP, Minister of State for Security, in fact his response is a disgrace …its either a brush-off or he doesn’t know and is bluffing it

  11. graham1946
    November 2, 2022

    Tom Tugendhat real reply – ‘Dunno, haven’t got a clue so I’ll just BS you as usual.’.

  12. Mike Wilson
    November 2, 2022

    From the response…

    I will not go into details,

    Because I have no idea what I am talking about and fundamentally disagree with the idea of us doing anything for ourselves.

    Didn’t some of you want this bloke as PM? The mind boggles.

  13. Bill B.
    November 2, 2022

    In other words:

    Tom Tugendhat MP, Minister of State for Security: I’m not telling you. Next?

  14. Michelle
    November 2, 2022

    A nation that is not self-sufficient in ways in which it could be, is a nation not very well run.
    It puts itself at risk from tyrants who use its dependency as a weapon against it, and puts itself at risk should other world emergencies occur.
    Scrabbling around to undo that dependency only when the danger arrives shows how silly a policy of dependency is.

  15. Wanderer
    November 2, 2022

    These non-answers are so annoying. In a Court of Law such obfuscation wouldn’t be tolerated. It’s a pity there aren’t higher standards in Parliament.

    1. a-tracy
      November 3, 2022

      It’s a shame John can’t come back with “how long will it take you to give me the answer”?

      MPs like Tugenhat get let off too often with none answers.
      Could you imagine if Braverman just responded with “I will not comment on the details of the taskforce…I will not go into detail” The media and opposition would be all over it.

  16. RichardP
    November 2, 2022

    In so many ways we are now a nation built on wind!
    We rely on strong winds to defend our southern coast against rubber boat invaders and we only have an adequate power supply when the wind blows.

  17. beresford
    November 2, 2022

    Judging by the quantity of often-torrential rain we have had in Birmingham for the last couple of weeks, water shortage is no longer an issue, Then again, the reservoirs are in Wales rather than Birmingham.

  18. Cuibono
    November 2, 2022

    In other words…
    “I will not, can not….answer your question.”
    Not a single Scooby.

  19. Barbara
    November 2, 2022

    I see that the requirement to have a British parent in order to join our security forces (MI5, MI6, GCHQ) will be scrapped from Tuesday to aid ‘diversity’. Somehow I get the impression our security, food or otherwise, is not now a priority.

    1. glen cullen
      November 2, 2022

      WHAT !!!

    2. Mickey Taking
      November 3, 2022

      children of the ex-stasi, the FSB …all welcome?

  20. Bloke
    November 2, 2022

    Any Minister in charge of Security should have foreseen such risks, and prepared ways to have avoided their consequence before it occurred. Others foresaw and warned, but those who were supposed to prevent didn’t.

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