'Our armed option', it says, 'has been designed to provide fully legitimate, properly licensed and trained teams to deploy on board vessels.
Our teams are experienced UK nationals and are equipped with new and modern weapons systems.' Senior Whitehall sources confirmed Foreign Office officials had met with the security firm involved but insisted it was at the request of the Somali Government.
Working group number one, which is overseeing 'military and operation co-ordination', is headed by Chris Holtby, the FCO's Deputy Head of Security Policy.
An internal UN document prepared by Mr Holtby says: "Crimes such as human trafficking are happening with impunity ...
Britain, which has so far not committed "specifically counter-piracy" money, will also contribute from "overlaying of benefits from counter-terrorism, counter-trafficking, migration, development/rule of law" funds.