Engagements

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

I am very happy to join my hon. Friend in paying tribute to the Tornado and to the men and women who have flown and maintained the fleet over the last 40 years. He has referenced the cold war and the mountains of Afghanistan. From the Gulf war through to operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, the Tornado has also been an integral and vital part of RAF operations. As my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary said last week, it is with a heavy heart but enormous pride that we bid farewell to the Tornado from operations after it has played that vital role in keeping Britain and the allies safe. It will of course be replaced with worthy successors in the improved Typhoon and the new F-35s, which will keep us as a world leader in air combat, but I am happy to pay tribute from the Dispatch Box to the plane and to all those men and women who have flown and maintained it over those 40 years.