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Trident Renewal

Part of Opposition Day — [13th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 20th January 2015.

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Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence 1:17 pm, 20th January 2015

On his first question—I notice that the hon. Gentleman has not addressed any of the inconsistencies I pointed out—I have already made it clear that we cannot be final about the full-length costs of the renewal until we come to take that maingate decision next year. That will be explained to Parliament. So far as maritime patrol aircraft are concerned, we inherited a situation in which some 21 Nimrod aircraft were supposed to be available by 2003, yet when we came to office seven years later, none was available. As part of the painful decisions we had to take to regularise the defence budget and sort out the £38 billion black hole, it was necessary to cancel a programme that had not in any case delivered. The hon. Gentleman asked me when we were going to examine this matter again, and the answer is very clear: we will, of course, look at that particular capability, along with other capabilities, as part of the strategic defence review, which will be initiated immediately after the general election.