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Defence

Volume 547: debated on Tuesday 26 June 2012

Nuclear-powered Submarines

The following is the answer given by the Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), to the supplementary questions asked by the hon. Member for Linlithgow and East Falkirk (Michael Connarty) during the Urgent Question concerning nuclear-powered submarines on 18 June 2012.

I am trying to find out how much of this expenditure is in the £3 billion mentioned last year by the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, the hon. Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), the Minister with responsibility for procurement, and how much is new expenditure? How much will be spent on Trident development and how much on the Astute submarine fleet?

The answer is about a quarter. Of the £1.1 billion, £500 million is investment in the capital infrastructure at the Rolls-Royce plant. The remaining £600 million represents the purchase of long-lead items for the production of the core for the reactor for the seventh Astute-class boat and the first successor-class boat.

[Official Report, 18 June 2012, Vol. 546, c. 615.]

Letter of correction from Philip Hammond:

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member for Linlithgow and East Falkirk (Michael Connarty) on 18 June 2012.

The correct answer should have been:

The answer is about a quarter. Of the £1.1 billion, £500 million is investment in the capital infrastructure at the Rolls-Royce plant. The remaining £600 million represents the cost of sustaining the capability out to 2023 and producing the core for the reactor for the seventh Astute-class boat and the first successor-class boat.

The following is the answer given by the Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), to the supplementary questions asked by the hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) during the Urgent Question concerning nuclear-powered submarines on 18 June 2012.

A week ago, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, the hon. Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), told the House that the total cost of long-lead items was £3 billion, but that has risen by a third in the Secretary of State’s statement today. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that all he is doing is building up huge expenditure in advance of a main gate decision in 2016, which will lead this country towards wasting £100 billion on a weapon of mass destruction of dubious legality and total immorality? Do we not need to think again?

The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to hear that I do not agree with any of that; I do not think he listened to the answer to the previous question but one. This is not an increase in the £3 billion previously announced; the part of it that relates to the successor programme was included within that £3 billion.

[Official Report, 18 June 2012, Vol. 546, c. 615-16.]

Letter of correction from Philip Hammond:

An error has been identified in the answer given to the hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) on 18 June 2012.

The correct answer should have been:

The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to hear that I do not agree with any of that; I do not think he listened to the answer to the previous question but one. This is not an increase in the £3 billion previously announced; the part of it that relates to successor programme expenditure through to 2016 was included within that £3 billion.