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Continuous At-Sea Deterrent

Part of Parental Rights (Rapists) and Family Courts – in the House of Commons at 2:38 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence 2:38 pm, 10th April 2019

We saw that difficult problem occur after the sustained gap in Barrow when work was not undertaken on submarines over a period of almost 10 years, so we are very aware of that. We are currently doing a study on how we develop the next generation. If the investment in the Dreadnought programme were to come to an end, the skills that are being developed in Barrow—and in Derby with Rolls-Royce and in hundreds of businesses across the country—would be lost. We would lose that national capability. That is why we are doing what the right hon. Gentleman suggests, because those skills are almost impossible to replace. We recognise that the investment in the deterrent is an investment in our future in more ways than one.

Nineteen sixty-nine will always be remembered as an iconic year: it was the year an astronaut first set foot on the moon. From a UK perspective, however, an event far less heralded has proved to be far more enduring, for the unsung heroes who began their undersea vigil that year have guaranteed our peace and prosperity for decades. Our nuclear deterrence posture is only possible thanks to their commitment. Out of sight they may be, but they are never out of mind. We can never fully repay them for what they have given our nation, but in a more uncertain world we are ensuring that they will have the means to perform their outstanding and vital service to our nation, safeguarding our way of life relentlessly for another 50 years.