The UK is a global hub for finance and other professional services, and its role in worldwide commerce is made possible by a globe-spanning network of subsea cables.
Britain's trade and internet are at risk of catastrophic damage from any Russian attack on underwater communications cables, the head of the armed forces has warned.
Russian Federation poses a threat to our country's infrastructure, the UK's most senior military officer has warned, claiming that the vulnerability of undersea internet cables is a "new risk to our way of life".
The warning comes a fortnight after the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange issued a report saying 97 per cent of global communications and $10 trn in daily financial transactions were transmitted through such cables.
Both sides tried to monitor and tap into undersea cables during the Cold War, using specialist submarines and ships.
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"There is a new risk to our prosperity and way of life, to the cables that crisscross our sea beds, disruption to which through cable-cuts or destruction would immediately and catastrophically fracture both worldwide trade and the internet, " he said.
"It is exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented for three submarine cables to the United Kingdom to be cut in the same day", said Daragh McDermott, director of corporate affairs for Jersey's main internet provider, JT, at the time. Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted?
Russian Federation is known to be building a new series of submarine-equipped, military "deep sea research" ships that are believed to be spying on the worldwide grid of cables.
"Russia, in addition to new ships and submarines, continues to flawless both unconventional capabilities and information warfare.and there is a new risk to our way of life, which is the vulnerability of the cables that criss-cross the seabeds".
"Therefore we must continue to develop our maritime forces with our allies with whom we are working very closely, to match and understand Russian fleet modernisation".