Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Update from Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is set to increase security measures in Windsor from this evening (27/3).

Specialist barriers will be put in place around Windsor Castle ahead of the Guard Change which is set to take place on Wednesday (29/3).

Security measures and activities, including those for pre-planned events in crowded places have been reviewed by the Force following the recent terror attack in Westminster.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hardcastle, head of operations for Thames Valley Police, said: “While there is no intelligence to indicate a specific threat to Windsor, recent events in Westminster clearly highlight the need for extra security measures to be introduced.

“The Force believes that it is proportionate and necessary to put in place extra security measures to further protect and support the public and the Guard Change. This is consistent with security deployments in London.

“Preventative measures such as these have been put in place across the UK over the past 10 years at various events.

“The national threat level remains severe, which it has been since 2014, and I would urge the public to be alert to the threat of terror attacks but not alarmed, and to remain vigilant.”

The new barriers will support existing road closures and will be used to secure the Guard Change route during the operation.

They will only be used to support these closures and will remain open at other times.

Ch Insp Sarah Grahame, deputy LPA commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “I hope that people in Windsor will understand the reasons that these barriers are being introduced, and will see why they are necessary.

“Windsor is a safe place to live, work and visit, and these extra security measures at the Guard Change will offer further protection for people in the town in light of recent events in Westminster.

“Acts of terrorism and hate crimes are committed by a small minority of people, but have a big impact on communities, and it is essential that we all continue to work together and share information in order to combat this threat.”

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, says: “We support the good work of Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police in their work to make Windsor a safer place for those who live, work and visit the town.

“These measures will increase security at the changing of the guard ceremony and the council is offering its help where necessary to ensure that this valued and popular tradition can continue.”

 

For details of the dates on which the Changing of the Guard will take place, please go to http://www.windsor.gov.uk/things-to-do/changing-the-guard-p264351

 

Encryption makes the UK safer

Yesterday the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was right to say that Britain would not be cowed by the terrorist attacks last Wednesday. Nor would we accept terrorism as an inevitable fact of life.

We must always be mindful against encroaching on traditional British liberties which protect the citizen against the state. We must be equally mindful that 21st century terrorists use 21st century tools, not those of the previous century or decade. Our laws and techniques to combat terrorism must keep pace with the tools of terror that threaten our safety.

This Commonwealth Day we should reflect on Britain’s place in the world

Today people from every continent will celebrate Commonwealth Day.

Fortuitously, Commonwealth Day this year falls on the same day that we in the House of Commons are voting on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill for, hopefully, the last time.

My position on the EU is well-known and consistent: Our future lies in forging new trading relations with the EU members and re-joining with the world as we leave the European Project.

An important part of making a success of Brexit is rebuilding our atrophied links with fellow Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth is an important international union. A global family of over 2.4bn people across more than 50 countries. This relationship of nations has led to a wonderfully interconnected diaspora across every continent with shared values, shared history and a shared future.

There is even a ‘Commonwealth advantage’ effect in trade and commerce: the inter-operability of our law systems means that, ceteris paribus, trade is 19% cheaper between Commonwealth countries.

Peaceful and stable countries make for more robust and resilient trade partners, so the theme this year’s Commonwealth Day has wisely been chosen as peace-building.

An intrinsic component of a peaceful society is a commitment to democratic governance and the rule of law: one of the many shared values of the Commonwealth of Nations. As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana I witnessed Ghana’s most recent contribution to this tradition of democracy and rule of law this January at the inauguration of President Nana Akufo Addo. Like every other transition of power in the fourth Republic of Ghana this was peaceful and respected by all sides, including the outgoing President John Mahama.

Like many other countries the businesses I have spoken to in Ghana are looking forward to the strong and comprehensive trade partnership that we can build together once Britain has regained control of its trade policy.

But trade is not just about counting Pounds and pence in exports. Globalisation and the soft power of free trade also leads to complex social relationships and diaspora left in its wake. Regaining control of our trade policy is therefore also about Britain finding its place in the world.

I hope that by this time next year, when it will be Britain’s turn to host the rotating Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that we will have an even clearer view of Britain’s new place in the world as we leave the EU: a dynamic and open country closely linked to Europe but not anchored to it.

The horizon is broader than Europe, and Britain was made for open seas.

 

ENDS

  1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
  2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
  3. He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
  4. He was Shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
  5. He is Patron of the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) and was Chair of the PSC between 2010 and 2015.
Bracknell News Column: Monday, 13 March 2017

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has passed through the Lords without amendment and Theresa May now has the power to trigger Article 50. As a result Britain is poised to begin its departure from the European Union.

The House of Lords has an important role in scrutinising and improving draft legislation and thankfully the unelected Chamber didn’t seek to block the will of the elected Commons.