def060721 - No. 61

Session 2005-06, 21 July 2006

New Inquiry

New Inquiry

The Future of the Strategic Nuclear Deterrent: the UK manufacturing and skills base

Following the recent publication of its first report into the future of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent, which examined the strategic context and timetable for decision-making, the Defence Committee has today launched the second in its series of inquiries.

This second-stage inquiry will focus on the UK manufacturing and skills base. It will consider the level of investment needed to sustain essential infrastructure and core skills in the UK submarine construction industry and will examine the potential consequences of a gap in the submarine building programme for the long-term viability of the domestic manufacturing and skills base. It will consider the implications of the rationalisation of the UK ship-building industry for the construction, maintenance and affordability of a possible successor to the Vanguard-class submarine. And it will consider the linkage between the Government’s Defence Industrial Strategy and the decision on retention, replacement or abolition of the UK’s Trident system.

The inquiry will examine the Government’s investment programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, and will consider the extent to which the level of that investment is consistent both with maintaining key skills and infrastructure in the design and manufacture of nuclear warheads and with the stewardship of the UK’s existing warhead stockpile.

It will also consider the extent to which nuclear expertise in the civilian nuclear industry and the higher education sector underpins the UK knowledge and skills base in the military nuclear field.

The Committee would welcome written evidence on these matters. This should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Monday 2 October 2006.

The Committee intends to hold oral evidence sessions in November. Further details and witnesses will be announced in due course.


1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr 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. 61


Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. Longer documents should include an executive summary.

Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this.

Personal information, such as address and contact details, should be provided separately from the body of your submission. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, no public use should be made of the submission unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.


Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, Tel 020 7219 0724 / 07841 737 349, email - 

Specific Committee Information:  Tel 020 7219 5745, email -

Committee Website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on