HL Deb 11 November 1999 vol 606 cc189-90WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether all activities being carried out by the United States National Security Agency at Menwith Hill and elsewhere in the United Kingdom and in British Overseas Territories are fully compatible with the European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy and with the Prime Minister's determination (as elaborated at St Malo a year ago) to promote European security; and whether the United Kingdom's European allies and fellow members of the European Union are aware of the nature of the activities of the United States National Security Agency. [HL4671]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

US operations on UK soil are performed with the full knowledge and consent of the UK. Government and conducted with full respect for the law. Bilateral and, if necessary, confidential agreements between individual nations and third countries that allow the use of their sovereign territory are consistent with the development of the European Union's common foreign and security policy and the Declaration on European Defence agreed by the Prime Minister at St Malo. Indeed, these arrangements provide a valuable contribution to the collective security of all NATO countries and are entirely consistent with our policy of improving European defence capabilities.

Whether other European countries are aware of the activities of the United States National Security Agency is a matter for them.