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Nuclear Submarine Facilities

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th February 2006.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering 2:30 pm, 28th February 2006

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the future of nuclear submarine facilities in Scotland.

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Scotland Office

My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Defence on a range of issues.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

Given the importance of the naval base at Faslane to the Scottish economy, by what date does the Under-Secretary expect a decision on the replacement for Trident to be announced?

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Scotland Office

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence said yesterday in Defence questions that it was hoped that a decision would be made during this Parliament. Of course, the decision does not have to come into force for 20 or 25 years, so there is no rush.

The future of Faslane does not depend on a replacement for Trident. It depended on the Government's decision to base the Astute class submarine at Faslane, which means £135 million of investment in Faslane and the local economy. I hope that the hon. Gentleman welcomes that.

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

Will the Under-Secretary confirm whether the Scottish Executive has any form of veto over future nuclear defence development in Scotland?