Securing our future: Foreign Secretary highlights the role of secret intelligence in foreign policy

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2011
Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 16 Nov 2011.

Speech - 16 Nov 2011

The Rt Hon William Hague began by saying:

Good afternoon and thank you all for coming to hear me speak on the role of Secret Intelligence in Britain’s foreign policy. This is an unusual topic for a Foreign Secretary to discuss in public, but there are important reasons to do so and I shall set them out.

I believe it is vital that the British public and Parliament have confidence in the Agencies’ ability to keep us safe and to do so within the framework of the law; and that they also have confidence in government using this capability wisely, and in accordance with our democratic values and principles of domestic and international law.

In this speech I will explain how Intelligence is used within Government to inform decisions about foreign and security policy and to help implement it, alongside the work of our diplomats, our Armed Forces and other agencies of government.

I will illustrate the extraordinary importance of the contribution of the Intelligence Agencies as well their ingenuity and resourcefulness.

And I will set out what the Government is doing to tackle the lessons of the past, and to strengthen the independent and Parliamentary oversight of the Agencies for the future...

Full transcript of the Foreign Secretary's speech, as delivered.