Commons Debates, Trident Value for Money Review – late June 2010

21 June 2010: Strategic Defence and Security Review

Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat): …. A variety of Members, including the shadow Defence Secretary, raised the issue of Trident. I think that I should clarify as best I can, because there seems to be some confusion-or perhaps I should say that some people seem moderately determined to be a little confused-about the value-for-money review of the existing plan for the Trident successor. It is a value-for-money study of the existing plan. If the study were to conclude that a particular aspect of the existing plan did not represent good value for money, it might start looking at different ways of doing things, but I have to stress that it is not a review in which we look at all the possible alternative ways in which we might provide a successor, and see which works out the cheapest. It is a progress report on the work taking place on the Trident successor project. The Ministry of Defence work on that should be completed by roughly the end of next month. The report will then go to the Cabinet Office, and ultimately these things will be decided by the National Security Council.

23 June 2010: Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (Liberal Democrat): Does the Prime Minister agree with several generals, many members of the public and me that Trident should be included in the strategic defence and security review? Does he agree that if there is a case for retaining it, that would come out in the review; and if there is not a case, it should not be kept?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend will know that that matter was carefully negotiated in the coalition agreement between our two parties. My view is clear: Britain should retain the nuclear deterrent and we should always keep that insurance policy against great danger. Although I think that there is a case for looking at the costs of the Trident system and seeing how we can bear down on them, I do not believe that we should have the wider review that he suggests.

One thought on “Commons Debates, Trident Value for Money Review – late June 2010

  1. The PM says here that Britain should retain the nuclear deterrent and we should always keep that insurance policy against great danger. But the FCO website affirms “the Government’s commitment to multilateral nuclear disarmament”. William Hague’s statement (14/6) on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is actually titled “Working towards a world without nuclear weapons”.

    It is confusing when the PM and Foreign Secretary totally disagree over what their line is, and it is hard not to conclude that the Government now has two different multilateral nuclear disarmament policies: one for and one against.

    Is there an MP who will put down a PQ on this?

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