Military Bases

Wales – in the House of Commons on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Conservative, Vale of Glamorgan

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the future of military bases in Wales.

Photo of Simon Hart Simon Hart The Secretary of State for Wales

I was fortunate enough to visit St Athan last week, where I met my right hon. Friend Alun Cairns and military personnel. My officials have been working closely with Ministry of Defence and Welsh Government officials to secure the future of bases in Wales, and they are making good progress with St Athan.

Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Conservative, Vale of Glamorgan

MOD St Athan has been designated a key element of the defence estate across the United Kingdom, but the Welsh Government are refusing our armed forces ongoing use of their existing site. Will the Secretary of State impress on the First Minister the importance not only of the economic benefits that the armed forces bring to the community but of the role that they play in the defence of our nation?

Photo of Simon Hart Simon Hart The Secretary of State for Wales

I can absolutely offer that guarantee, and I can go a little bit further. The blockage between the MOD and the Welsh Government has started to loosen, and there now seems to be some progress. I very much hope that we can achieve the objective that my right hon. Friend wants, which is a substantial military footprint at St Athan.