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Nuclear Deterrent

Volume 449: debated on Monday 11 September 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Woodspring, 23 January 2006, Official Report, column 1154, on what date he first asked his officials to explore the options for replacing the nuclear deterrent with a successor system; and when he expects to be presented with their findings. (48009)

[holding answer 2 February 2006]: As was made clear in the December 2003 Defence White Paper (Paragraph 3.11), we have continued to take steps to keep options open on the possible replacement of Trident. As the then Defence Secretary indicated previously on 30 June 2004, Official Report, column 358W, this included concept studies on options for platforms to carry the Trident missile in the longer term, which began in May 2002.

Ministers have been briefed by officials on some of the relevant issues and have requested that further work be undertaken. As the Prime Minister said on 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 254, during Prime Minister’s Questions, decisions on this issue will be taken later this year.