Prime Minister Tony Blair
September 11, 2001
The full horror of what has happened in the United States earlier today is now
becoming clearer. It is hard even to contemplate the utter carnage and terror
which has engulfed so many innocent people. Weve offered President Bush
and the American people our solidarity, our profound sympathy, and our prayers.
But it is plain that citizens of many countries round the world, including Britain,
will have been caught up in this terror.
I have just chaired an emergency meeting of the British government Civil Contingencies
Committee, and I would like to explain some of the measures that we have agreed
to take here. There are a range of precautionary measures. We have stepped up
security at airports to the highest levels. No flights will take off from the
United Kingdom for which we cannot apply the highest standards of security for
air crew and passengers. Private flights have been stopped except where specifically
authorised. Flight paths into London have been changed, so there will be no
civil over-flights of central London.
Security has been increased across the full range of government buildings and
military premises. The police across the whole of the UK are on full alert.
All our defence facilities round the world have been moved to high alert to
ensure the protection of British service personnel. Advice is being given to
major financial and business institutions about appropriate security measures.
A number of other security measures have been taken, and of course we are in
close touch with US, European and other allies, and are co-operating with them
on issues of security. All relevant ministers remain in communication, and the
committee - the civil contingencies committee - will meet again tomorrow at
Obviously some of these measures, not least the effect upon airports, will lead
to some disruption, and I hope people understand that. But other than the specific
measures we have taken, or that we have advised others to take, business and
everyday life can continue as normal. As for those that carried out these attacks,
there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will stand as their
shame for all eternity.
As I said earlier, this mass terrorism is the new evil in our world. The people
who perpetrate it have no regard whatever for the sanctity or value of human
life, and we the democracies of the world, must come together to defeat it and
eradicate it. This is not a battle between the United States of America and
terrorism, but between the free and democratic world and terrorism. We, therefore,
here in Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our American friends in this
hour of tragedy, and we, like them, will not rest until this evil is driven
from our world.
Crown copyright material reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.