The statement made by Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in the House of Commons on 22 March 2022.
MI5 has lowered the Northern Ireland-related terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland from “SEVERE” to “SUBSTANTIAL”.
The decision to change the threat level is taken by MI5, independently of Ministers.
This is a systematic, comprehensive and rigorous process, based on the very latest intelligence and analysis of factors which drive the threat.
The fact that the threat level is being lowered from where it has been since September 2010 is a testament to the Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting the peace process and tackling Northern Ireland-related terrorism, as well as the tremendous efforts of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and MI5 for their hard-won gains over the past decade that have helped to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work.
Despite the change in the threat level, terrorism remains one of the most direct and immediate risks to our national security and to communities in Northern Ireland. There remains a small group of people determined to destabilise the political settlement in Northern Ireland through acts of terrorism.
“SUBSTANTIAL” means that a terrorist attack is likely and might well occur without further warning.
As ever, the public should remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police.
The Government, police and intelligence agencies will continue to work tirelessly to address the threat posed by terrorism in all its forms. The threat level will be kept under constant review.