Prime Ministers Questions

Written Ministerial Statement, National Security Strategy/Strategic Defence and Security Review, Prime Minister,  19 Dec 2013

David Cameron (The Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)

On behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister and other members of the National Security Council(NSC), I am pleased to present the third annual report of progress in implementing the 2010National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. Copies are today being placed in the Library of the House.

Over the last year the Government have continued to focus their efforts to build the United Kingdom’s prosperity, extend our influence in the world and further strengthen our security as set out in 2010. It remains clear that our national security depends on our economic security and vice versa. In creating the National Security Council, the Government have established an effective way to ensure prompt, coherent, co-ordinated and well-informed decision-making on defence and security in the round, directing the Government’s long-term strategy and responding to the issues of the day.

The global economic slowdown and the parlous state of Government finances in 2010 had a serious economic impact. Over the last 12 months, the Government have continued to focus effort overseas to increase exports and encourage inward investment in the UK, helping UK business to ensure success in the global race for economic success. To support the UK in this race we are deploying more diplomats to the fastest growing parts of the world, upgrading existing posts and opening new ones. We are also striking new relationships beyond our traditional alliances—Britain’s influence in the world is expanding, not shrinking. The UK’s economy is growing, new jobs are being created and we continue to cut the deficit. We used our 2013 G8 presidency to make commitments to boost jobs and growth by: advancing trade; ensuring everyone pays their fair share of taxes; and promoting greater transparency. For the first time, G8 leaders agreed unequivocally to reject ransom payments to terrorists. A statement on the outcomes of the 2013 G8 presidency is being laid before Parliament today.

In defence, a balanced budget means that MOD can now afford its future equipment programme, investing in the critical capabilities we need for today and in the future, including in areas such as cyber. Tough negotiations with industry led to a renegotiation of the last Government’s flawed contract for the aircraft carriers, agreeing a cost of £6.2 billion and moving to a model which properly incentivises industry efficiency. We expect to launch HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2014, with flying trials from the carrier beginning in 2018. We will also be ordering three new offshore patrol vessels for the Royal NavyIn July, the Government published an unclassified version of the Trident alternatives review, a Cabinet Office-led study into alternative deterrent systems and postures. The review demonstrated that no alternative system is as capable, or as cost-effective, as a Trident-based deterrent. Government policy remain to maintain a continuous at sea deterrent and proceed with the programme to build a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines.

On the armed forces covenant, the whole of Government are working to ensure that no serving or former armed forces personnel, or their families, are disadvantaged for the enormous sacrifices they make for their country. This ensures that they are recognised as valuable members of society, and are able to go from strength to strength in the vital and often dangerous role they undertake on behalf of the country. We should be proud that 397 local authorities (98% of those in Great Britain) have signed the community covenant and are working to bring service and local communities closer together. Funding for the covenant will endure, with a further £10 million per year to be made available from 2015-16. In addition, £100 million of LIBOR fines is being used to support a range of good causes, including further funding for the armed forces community and service charities; and we have made around £200 million available to help members of the armed forces get on the property ladder.

The UK will host the 2014 NATO summit in Wales on 4 and 5 September. The summit will be an historic opportunity to look to the future—to ensure that the Alliance, which is the bedrock of our defence, is well equipped for future challenges and reinforces our critical transatlantic security relationships. It will also mark transition of our effort in Afghanistan. By hosting the summit, we will underline both our own and our allies’ shared-commitment to our collective security.

The National Security Council has set a clear strategic direction on Afghanistan. Although challenges remain, the Afghan National Security Forces continue to grow in capability, confidence, and capacity; and we will continue to support them. UK forces will cease combat operations, and security transition remains on track to be achieved, by the end of 2014. We continue to work closely with the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other international partners, in an effort to help find a long-term political settlement to the conflict. The UK will maintain current development assistance of £178 million per annum until 2017 to help Afghans tackle extreme poverty, create jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth.

In the middle east and Africa, we have played a leading role in the efforts to seek a negotiated settlement over Iran’s nuclear programme; to end the conflict in Syria; to restore order in Mali and to support Libya’s democratic transition. In Syria, the UK has been at the forefront of alleviating the crisis, committing £500 million in aid. In May 2013, the second London Somalia conference galvanised international support behind the Somali Government’s plans for security, political process, public financial management and justice.

Instability and conflict continue to threaten our national security. This year we improved our cross-Government early warning capabilities, and last year introduced the £20 million early action facility (EAF) within the conflict pool to allow us rapidly to respond to early warnings and opportunities to prevent conflict. The EAF has this year committed £12 million to support Government policy in Syria and neighbouring countries on top of existing multi-year conflict pool funding and humanitarian assistance. The UK’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has clearly demonstrated the difference that humanitarian aid and support from the armed forces can make in disaster situations.

In the spending review, we announced that in April 2015 a new £1 billion conflict, stability and security fund will be introduced bringing together defence, diplomatic, development, security and intelligence capabilities, replacing the conflict pool. The strategy for this fund will be set by the NSC taking a long-term view of British interests.

The autumn statement confirmed that the Government will meet their commitment to spend 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA) for the first time in 2013, and meet our promise to the world’s poorest. We will be the first G8 country to reach the 0.7% target.

This year, I co-chaired the high-level panel on what should replace the millennium development goals when they expire in 2015. The panel’s report was published in May 2013, recommending goals for ending extreme poverty by 2030 and putting in place institutions like the rule of law and good governance, which are key to tackling conflict. The report also highlighted the importance of peace and security for development. The Government will now work intensely to ensure that the UN negotiations on the final set of post-2015 goals end up with inspiring and crunchy goals which take forward this vision.

The threat of weapons proliferation and arms control remains serious. This is why we worked hard, alongside civil society and like-minded partners, to secure the UN General Assembly’s adoption of a strong arms trade treaty in April 2013. As part of our G8 presidency, the

UK has also been chairing the global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction, which has 27 members and co-ordinates international funding of around $2 billion a year towards counter-proliferation programmes.

The events in Woolwich, and the attack against the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, are a reminder that the threat that the UK faces remains both serious and sustained and that the nature of the threat is evolving and diversifying. In response to Woolwich, the extremism taskforce was established to agree practical steps to fight against all forms of extremism. The police and security services have continued to contain the threat from Northern Ireland related terrorism. Against this backdrop, the Government continue to ring-fence funding (£563 million for 2013-14) for counter-terrorism policing capabilities.

In October 2013, we launched the new National Crime Agency (NCA) to better identify, disrupt and cut serious and organised crime. Within the NCA, the new national cyber-crime unit has the specialist capabilities and necessary skills to identify, mitigate and tackle online crimes and criminals’ use of new technologies.

The Government have also reformed border roles and responsibilities, meeting targets for seizures of some of the most harmful materials which criminals try to import; making high-quality decisions about who comes to the UK; and enabling better co-ordination of intelligence and operational activity at borders.

We are also investing in the future. The transformative national cyber-security programme (NCSP), supported by £860 million of investment through to 2016, is now delivering real change in UK cyber-security capabilities including through partnership with industry to improve businesses’ security. We will continue to develop this collaborative approach to boost UK cyber-security, and a report on progress and forward plans for the NCSP was laid before Parliament on 12 December with an announcement of a number of new initiatives and the focus for future efforts to make the UK one of the safest places to do business in cyberspace.

Oral Answers to Questions, Nuclear Deterrence  — Prime Minister, 20 Nov 2013

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
If he will rule out the removal of continuous at-sea nuclear deterrence for as long as he is in office.

David Cameron (The Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
As I told my hon. Friend when he last asked about this issue, if we want a proper, functioning deterrent, we need to have the best. That means a permanent, at-sea, submarine-based posture, and that is what a Conservative-only Government after the next election will deliver.

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
May I reassure my right hon. Friend that that excellent answer will remain on my website for as long as it takes for the pledge to be fulfilled? I notice that he used the words “Conservative-only Government”.

Will he reassure the House that never again will Liberal Democrats be allowed to obstruct or delay the signing of the main gate contracts, and will he undertake to sign those contracts at the earliest possible opportunity?

David Cameron (The Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I would say a couple of things to my hon. Friend. First, investment in our nuclear deterrent has not ceased. Actually, we are taking all the necessary steps to make that main gate decision possible. Also, we have had the alternative study, which I do not think came up with a convincing answer. I have to say, however, that I do not feel that I would satisfy him even if I gave him a nuclear submarine to park off the coast of his New Forest constituency. [Laughter.]

John Bercow (Speaker)
I rather fear that that is true, having known Dr Lewis for over 30 years.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Aircraft Carriers and UK Shipbuilding – 06 November 2013

[…]

Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran, Labour)
Politics is about choices, of course. What impact has the funding of the Trident replacement had on the decisions that have led to the announcements of job losses today?

Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge, Conservative)
None. The Trident programme is a capital programme. The constraining factor in terms of the Royal Navy is far more around operating costs and crewing than the capital costs of platforms. We have to make sure we have a Navy that is sustainable and that we can afford to operate and crew in an increasingly tight market for engineering skills, where we often have to pay premium rates to get people with the appropriate skills. There is no point in building platforms we cannot afford to put to sea.

[…]

Lord Burnett (Liberal Democrat)
My Lords, I welcome the fact that the fleet is set to grow, with not just aircraft carriers but Type 26 frigates and offshore patrol vessels, which is good news, but also with the four submarines that are the successors to Trident and which I strongly support. The naval service will need in excess of 1,000 additional trained personnel to man these vessels. Will my noble friend assure the House that the Government understand this and that steps will be taken to increase the strength of the Royal Navy to cope with these demands? Will he write to me about the consequences of this Statement for Appledore Shipbuilders in north Devon, which is in my former constituency?

Lord Astor of Hever (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defence; Conservative)
My Lords, I welcome my noble friend’s support for the fleet and for Vanguard’s successor. As regards manpower, the Royal Navy attaches a great deal of importance to this, in particular to get the right people with the right skills. The Navy will need an extra 2,000 people for its expanding fleet over the next five to 10 years. We are very grateful to the United States Navy and the US Marine Corps, which have been especially helpful in training our people preparing for the carriers; whether they are training pilots, deck crew, or on air direction or engineering, they have been very helpful. Finally, my noble friend asked about Appledore, on which I will write to him.

Written Answer – Deputy Prime Minister: Trident 28 October 2013

Kevan Jones (North Durham, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 2 September 2013, Official Report, column 6W, on Trident, if he will publish (a) timesheets for each of the officials listed as working on the Trident Alternatives Review and (b) the salary and grade of each such official.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review.

The team within the Cabinet Office coordinating the review consisted of two full-time staff and a senior civil servant.

Experts of various grades and military ranks, primarily from the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided advice on an as-required basis.

The ranks/grades of those experts and their time spent on consultation are not held centrally.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements – 04 September 2013

[…]

Jack Straw (Blackburn, Labour)
May I press the Prime Minister on the issue of relations with Iran? With respect to him, his previous answer sounded as if he had taken no account of the fact that since our embassy was outrageously sacked by Ahmadinejad and his thugs, there has been an election in Iran, however imperfect, that has led to a different individual becoming President, Hassan Rouhani, who to my certain knowledge is someone the west and the British Prime Minister can deal with. May I ask him to look very carefully, with the Foreign Secretary, at how we can take steps now to improve relations with Iran, identify matters of common interest and try to get it involved in solving Syria?

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I agree that the election of a President who has a greater commitment to reform is a positive step, and I have written to President Rouhani to raise a series of issues that need to be settled between Britain and Iran. Above all, we need to see progress on what President Rouhani himself has said is important, which is trying to come to an agreement whereby Iran gives up the idea of nuclear weapons and in return we see some relief on sanctions. That would be major progress, but we should not just do that from a position of hoping for the best. We have seen what Iran has been capable of in the recent past, so we should go into such discussions very cautiously.

[…]

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
It cost the Ministry of Defence £1.4 billion to extend the life of the four Trident submarines so that the Liberal Democrats could study alternatives. Now that that study has shown there is no alternative to Trident, will the Prime Minister consider signing the main-gate contract for the first two submarines, so that we can never again be blackmailed by the Liberal Democrats in a hung Parliament?

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I have to credit my hon. Friend with remarkable consistency on this issue, on which, basically, I agree: we have Trident, it is the right approach and we need to renew Trident. Actually, the delay of the main-gate decision has saved us money, rather than cost us money. His point about the review is absolutely right. It shows that if we want a proper functioning deterrent, we need to have the best, and that means a permanently at-sea submarine-based alternative. That is what a Conservative-only Government, after the next election, will deliver.

[…]

Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister: Trident – 03 September 2013

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister to what use he will put the Trident Alternatives Report; for what reason the report excluded consideration of the (a) costs and (b) utility of a two-submarine Trident force; how many Civil Servant man-hours were expended upon this report; and at what attributable cost to the public purse.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review.

The report on the Trident Alternatives Review, which the Government published on 16 July, is intended to inform public debate on this important topic. The review examined the option and costs of an interim procurement of two Successor submarines to supplement the reducing fleet of Vanguard-class submarines during the transition to a different system in 2040. The review did not examine a long-term fleet of two Successor submarines because such a force would be unable to sustain back-to-back patrols over an extended period of time, unlike a three boat fleet. Neither the hours nor costs of the review are centrally recorded; these could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister: Trident – 02 September 2013

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which people, service personnel and organisations were consulted during the Trident Alternatives Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternative Review.

The review was led by officials in the Cabinet Office, drawing upon advice from military and civilian experts from within Her Majesty’s Government, primarily from the Ministry of Defence and from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on an as-required basis. They included experts from policy, intelligence, scientific, capability and cost areas and senior military and civilian staff.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Middle East and North Africa- 10 July 2013

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)
With permission, Mr Speaker, I will update the House on the UK’s response to events in the middle east and north Africa.

[…]

We will make every effort to persuade Iran to negotiate an end to the crisis over its nuclear programme. We look to a new Government in Iran to give a comprehensive response to the proposal by E3 plus 3 for a confidence-building measure, and to co-operate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency. We will respond in good faith to positive action by Iran. We are ready to improve our relations on a step by step basis, but no one should doubt our resolve to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Douglas Alexander (Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour)

[…]

We welcome the election of President Rohani, but there are key steps he must now be prepared to take if the ongoing nuclear crisis is to be resolved. I echo the sentiments expressed by the Foreign Secretary: a nuclear-armed Iran is not simply a threat to Israel, but a risk to all nations. The Government will have our support in pushing the E5 plus 1 talks that have regrettably so far not yielded sufficient progress.

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)

I welcome the right hon. Gentleman’s comments on Iran. Again, I think there is strong agreement across the House and support for a further round of E3 plus 3 negotiations with its new Government. There is also strong agreement on the middle east peace process. I have set out in the House previously that we have to be ready, in the UK and in other European countries, once negotiations get going, to offer incentives or even disincentives at times during the negotiations for Israelis and Palestinians to try to make it a success, working with the United States. First, we have to get the negotiations going. We have been urging Israeli and Palestinian

[…]

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative)

Does the Foreign Secretary agree that, in a region in turmoil, the biggest single threat to world peace is Iran’s potential development of a nuclear weapon? It is widely accepted that Iran has enriched uranium beyond the 3.5% necessary for civilian nuclear use. What knowledge does he have that Iran could be developing a plan B involving plutonium at its Arak nuclear facility, the heavy water section of which has been off limits to inspectors for the past 18 months?

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative)

My hon. Friend is also right to raise this matter. Great concern has been expressed, including by the International Atomic Energy Authority, about the heavy water plant at Arak. That is one of the aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme to which the IAEA wants greater access. The President-elect, Mr Rouhani, has said that he is committed to transparency in Iran’s nuclear programme. One way to demonstrate that would be to be transparent about this issue; otherwise, the world will become increasingly alarmed in exactly the way that my hon. Friend has described.

Topical Questions, Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – 9 July 2013

Julian Lewis (New Forest East, Conservative)
How much have the Deputy Prime Minister and his Cabinet Office colleagues cost the public purse in conducting a study of alternatives to Trident that has taken more than two and a half years to show that there are indeed no alternatives to Trident as the basis of our nuclear deterrent?

Nicholas Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council; Sheffield, Hallam, Liberal Democrat)
My hon. Friend must be a soothsayer if he can tell what is in a report that has not been published yet. As he knows, the confidential version of the report has been provided to the Prime Minister and me, and we hope to publish the unclassified version shortly, when he will see that options are available to us. I have always argued against the idea that a total, like-for-like, exact replacement of Trident on precisely the same basis is the only option available to us as a country.

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness, Labour)
Does “shortly” mean before the summer recess? Given that the Deputy Prime Minister’s report will show that his grand idea of a mini-deterrent was always a complete fantasy, why should anyone take him seriously if he now says that Britain could be adequately protected with a part-time deterrent?

Nicholas Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council; Sheffield, Hallam, Liberal Democrat)
We have another psychic telling us what is in a report that he has not seen yet. We hope that the report will be published shortly; we hope to publish it before the recess, but of course we need to check that the unclassified document is properly vetted in all respects, which is what we are doing at the moment. The simple point is: does the hon. Gentleman believe that a weapons system designed to be fired at the push of a button, at any minute of any hour of any day, 365 days a week, to flatten Moscow in a cold war context, is the only weapons system available to us? That is the question he needs to answer.

Written Answers – Prime Minister: Pakistan – 5 July 2013

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Prime Minister what matters in respect of Pakistan’s continued possession of nuclear weapons he discussed with his Pakistani counterpart during his recent visit to Pakistan.

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made in the House on Afghanistan and EU Council on 2 July 2013, Hansard, columns 751-53, where I set out my discussions with Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan.

Written Answers – Prime Minister: Trident – 4 July 2013

Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex, Conservative)
To ask the Prime Minister when the Government intends to make the public version of the Cabinet Office review of alternatives to Trident available to Parliament.

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
A public version of the Trident Review will be made available to Parliament in due course.

Written Answers – Prime Minister: Russia – 26 June 2013

Paul Flynn (Newport West, Labour)
To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with President Putin of Russia on nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament at the bilateral meeting on 16 June 2013.

David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
I did not discuss this specific issue with President Putin on this occasion.

The UK Government regularly raises issues of strategic security in bilateral meetings such as the joint UK-Russia Foreign and Defence ministerial meeting in March, in partnership with our allies such as at the NATO-Russia Foreign ministerial last December, and at official level in multilateral meetings such as the conference of the five nuclear non-proliferation treaty nuclear weapon states in April in Geneva.

I also refer the hon. Member to the G8 Communiqué that sets out the G8’s agreed position on nuclear proliferation issues. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Written Answers – Deputy Prime Minister: Trident – 22 April 2013

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultation he has had with (a) the defence industry and (b) other external experts as part of the Trident Alternatives Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat) I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. The review draws upon advice, including on technical, industrial and other issues, from subject matter experts within Her Majesty’s Government.

Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Trident Alternatives Review has considered the options of a (a) normally continuous at-sea deterrence submarine force, (b) CASD-capable submarine force, (c) dual-capable submarine force and (d) non-deployed strategic force.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat) I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 4 February 2013.

Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Topical Questions- 12 February 2013

Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Conservative)
Does the Deputy Prime Minister share my concern, as vice-chair of the North Korea all-party parliamentary group, at today’s news of another nuclear test by that country? What steps will the Government take to condemn that test and to prevent further tests? Equally importantly, what will the Government do to make the Government of North Korea focus on addressing the appalling human rights abuses in that country and the suffering that has been endured by its people for far too long?

Nicholas Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council; Sheffield, Hallam, Liberal Democrat)
I am sure that everybody on both sides of the House would agree with the hon. Lady’s sentiment. The Foreign Secretary has already spoken out in reaction to the tests that took place in North Korea. They not only threaten peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and internationally, but are in direct violation of three UN Security Council resolutions. In accordance with one of those resolutions, we are consulting urgently with other members of the Security Council to determine what robust action we will take in response.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 11 February 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has had with the US administration about whether the alternatives to the current nuclear deterrent system would be (a) supported by the US administration and (b) in line with the US 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. None.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 11 February 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister

(1) what legal advice the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has (a) sought and (b) received regarding the UK designing a new nuclear warhead;

(2) what legal advice the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has (a) sought and (b) received on whether alternatives to the current nuclear deterrent system would honour the UK’s obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat) I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. The review takes as its starting point that the UK will continue to comply with its international obligations.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 6 February 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister

(1) which Permanent Secretaries have been consulted by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury as part of the Trident Alternatives Review;

(2) which of the Service Chiefs the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has consulted as part of the Trident Alternatives Review; and on how many occasions each such individual gave evidence to the Review;

(3) what role the Cabinet Secretary and No. 10 officials have had in the Trident Alternatives Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
holding answer 5 February 2013 I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. Senior officials are consulted as required.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 5 February 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which discussions the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has had with international parties regarding the UK designing a new nuclear warhead.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat) I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. None.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 5 February 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many meetings the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has had in the course of the Trident Alternatives Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
holding answer 4 February 2013 I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. Since assuming oversight of the review in September 2012, I have had six meetings with officials leading the review, as well as other meetings with relevant bodies, and visits to the Ministry of Defence, the Atomic Weapons Establishment site at Aldermaston, and Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 4 February 2013

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Government will publish the written evidence received as part of the Trident Alternatives Review. [140588]

Danny Alexander: I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) on 31 October 2012,Official Report, column 249W: there are no plans to publish the information that the review draws upon due to its highly classified nature

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultations the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has had with counterparts and defence ministers from each of the NATO member states as part of the Trident Alternatives Review; and when such meetings took place.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. None.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 31 January 2013

Thomas Docherty (Dunfermline and West Fife, Labour)
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which (a) Ministry of Defence establishments and (b) industrial facilities the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has visited as part of the Trident Alternatives Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. I have visited the following establishments both in support of my role as a senior Cabinet Minister, and as the Minister overseeing the Trident Alternatives Review: Ministry of Defence Main Building, Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment site at Aldermaston.

Written Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – Trident – 18 January 2013

Wayne David (Caerphilly, Labour) To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he intends to publish the Government’s Trident Review.

Danny Alexander (Chief Secretary, HM Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
I have been asked to reply as the Minister responsible for the Trident Alternatives Review. The review will report to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the first half of this year. An unclassified version of the report will be published shortly afterwards.

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