Brits have been advised to stock up on candles and torches, as well as battery-powered radios and first aid kits in order to prepare for power cuts, the deputy prime minister reportedly said.
Oliver Dowden has visited the UK’s military laboratory in Porton Down to mark the launch of a new national “resilience academy” to help people and businesses prepare for future pandemics, natural disasters and cyber-attacks.
The academy forms part of the government’s UK resilience framework, which Dowden says will help the “whole of society” prepare for the risks.
The deputy prime minister listed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cyber-attacks, pandemics, the misuse of artificial intelligence and extreme weather among some of the risks the UK faces.
He said businesses would be offered training to deal with the impact of such threats, while a new website will provide the public with “practical advice” on how to be better prepared for future risks.
He told the Commons: “The government has a role in bringing all actors together and to give them the skills they need. Today, I can announce we are developing a new UK resilience academy that will improve the skills of those groups.
“It will provide a range of learning and training opportunities for the whole of society. For professionals, there will be a curriculum to build skills, knowledge and networks, and a centre for excellence for exercising. For businesses, there will be greater guidance and particularly assistance on threats to critical national infrastructure and cyber.
“And for citizens, there will be a unified government resilience website, which will provide practical advice on how households can prepare as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the simple steps individuals can take to raise their resilience.”
But it didn’t take long for the plans to be lampooned on social media.
Campaign group Best for Britain posted ‘Torchlit uplands’ in reference to the Brexit campaign, while ‘Bremain in Spain’ simply posted: ‘Optimistic about the future then’.