Before answering my hon. Friend’s question, I am sure the whole House will want to join me in paying tribute to Warrant Officer Class 2 Graham Bean of 73 Engineer Regiment (Volunteers) who died on 3 May while serving in Cyprus on Operation Tosca with the United Nations peacekeeping force based in Nicosia. He had a long and successful career in the British Army for over 35 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. Our thoughts are also with the family and friends of the Royal Marine from 42 Commando who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan yesterday. More information will be released shortly after the period of grace requested by his family.
Our assessment of the Royal Navy’s requirements was set out in the strategic defence and security review. Events in Libya have confirmed the review’s recognition of the need to retain naval forces at high readiness for operations.