Ministers consider new powers after Russian Federation report
Jul 24 2020
Stewart Hosie, a committee member and member of Parliament for the opposition Scottish National Party, accused the government of "actively avoiding" allegations of Russian meddling, which he said was unforgivable after evidence emerged that Moscow had interfered with the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 and the United States presidential election two years later.
The parliamentary report's authors accused the British government of "actively avoiding" looking into evidence of the Russian threat to the European Union referendum.
"A retrospective assessment of the EU Referendum is not necessary", the government said.
The ISC report concluded the United Kingdom only belatedly realised the threat to political processes despite alarm bells ringing over the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
But relations reached an all-time low after the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripaland his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in 2018.
What they're saying: "The government here has let us down", said Kevan Jones, a Labour member of Parliament who serves on the intelligence committee that released the report.
Russia's cyber attack capability "when combined with its willingness to deploy it in a malicious capacity, is a matter of grave concern" which represents an "urgent threat to our national security".
In a line critical of the response of British security services to counter Russian meddling, the ICS said: "was not immediately apparent how these various agencies and organisations are co-ordinated and indeed complement each other".
"It has been clear for some time that Russian Federation under Putin has moved from potential partner to established threat, fundamentally unwilling to adhere to global law", the report said.
The report confirmed that there was credible evidence that Russian Federation attempted to influence the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and that this should have served as a wake-up call.
"The actual impact of such attempts on the result itself would be hard - if not impossible - to prove".
The Government has already promised legislation to provide the security services and law enforcement agencies with "the tools they need" to disrupt hostile action. Scottish National Party lawmaker, Stewart Hosie.
"This level of integration - in 'Londongrad' in particular - means that any measures now being taken by the Government are not preventative but rather constitute damage limitation", the Report said.
"This situation is in stark contrast to the US handling of allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, where an intelligence community assessment was produced within two months of the vote, with an unclassified summary being made public". "And the public must be told the results of that assessment".
Tobias Ellwood, the chair of parliament's Defence Select Committee, told Sky News: "We're actually now seeing the new modern battlefield in play".
The report's authors said they were subjected to an unprecedented delay in making the document public, with officials holding off its release for more than six months.
"You can not hope to deal with interference if you do not even check if it is happening".
Shadow Labour Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said: "It is extraordinary that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, took the political decision last October ahead of the general election to block the publication of this important report that systematically goes through the threat Russian Federation poses to the UK's national security". As with Russiagate against President Donald Trump, the same crew has mobilized to prevent Prime Minister Johnson's turn toward an FDR-style "New Deal", and to force him into a military confrontation with Russian Federation and China.