Great Britain has a great naval tradition stretching back to Alfred the Great. The navy has defended the country in times of need, smashing the Spanish Armada and Napoleon’s Frenchies. It is the home of the world’s greatest naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson.
Britannia once ruled the waves.
Now, the Commons defence committee has warned that Britain is vulnerable to terrorist attack from the sea because no single body is responsible for protecting its 7000 miles of coastline. Just nine Royal Navy ships, six warships, two patrol vessels and a support tanker patrol the British shoreline.
The defence committee suggests developing a "deterrent capability" to ward off sea-borne attacks.
The Ministry of Defence has parried with an insistence that ‘clear procedures are in place’.
The defence committee’s statement said: "We are concerned at the level of action being taken to address threats to aspects of national infrastructure such as ports.
What assets are available for maritime security tend to be reactive forces."
The statement continued: "There is a strong case for developing a deterrent capability in relation to threats to civilian maritime targets.
We are not satisfied that an intelligence-led approach is sufficient."
The Commons defence committee are absolutely correct. The British armed forces were formed to protect the people of Britain, not to fight the enemy of every other nation.
Perhaps Captain Mainwaring and a troop of Sea Scouts could do a better job of it!