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Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent consideration he has given to the future of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system; and if he will make a statement. (257900)

We laid out the Government's decisions on the nuclear deterrent in the December 2006 White Paper, ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’, which the House voted to support, by a large majority, in March 2007. We expect to reach the Initial Gate approval point for the programme to replace the Vanguard-class submarines in autumn 2009. This will signify the end of the concept phase. We are also participating in a programme to extend the life of the Trident II D5 missile until around 2042.