DEF060726 - No. 65

Session 2005-06, 26 July 2006

Publication of Special Report


PUBLICATION OF GOVERNMENT RESPONSE ON THE FUTURE OF THE UK's STRATEGIC NUCLEAR DETERRENT: THE STRATEGIC CONTEXT

The Defence Committee today publishes the Government's Response to the Committee's report on the future of the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent as its Ninth Report of Session 2005-06 (The Future of the UK's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the Strategic Context€” Government Response to the Committee's Eighth Report of Session 2005-06, HC 1558).

The Committee's Eighth Report on The Future of the UK's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the Strategic Context, was published on 30 June 2006 as HC 986. It called upon the Government to deliver on its promise of a full and open public debate on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent before any significant investment decisions are made. And it highlighted some of the key issues for consideration in that debate.

The Government's Response clarifies details of the decision-making timetable on the future of the deterrent, the independence of the existing Trident system, and plans for the maintenance of the UK manufacturing and skills base. It gives details of what is to be published in the White Paper later this year.

Commenting on the Government Response, Committee Chairman Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP said "I welcome the MoD's response to the Committee's first report on the future of the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent and the Government's undertaking to engage with future inquiries by the Committee on the subject. We look forward, with great interest, to the publication of the White Paper. It is essential that Parliament and the public are given the opportunity to consider fully the issues involved. We will be contributing to the continuing debate."

The Committee has announced that the next in its series of inquiries into the future of the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent will focus on the UK manufacturing and skills base in submarine construction and maintenance and the design and manufacture of nuclear warheads. It has called for evidence by Monday 2 October (see Defence Committee Press Notice No. 61).


NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linda Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Adam Holloway MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, Mr Mark Lancaster MP, Willie Rennie MP, John Smith MP

2. News Release: No. 65

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