My Lords, of course we and our allies take a very close interest in US thinking on missile defence and its international implications. However, I assure the noble Lord, Lord Howell, that it remains the case that the United States has not yet decided to proceed with deployment of such a system and is not expected to take such a decision before much later this year, at the earliest. As the US has not yet decided to proceed, it follows that it has not asked us for permission to use facilities in this country as part of such a system. Suggestions in the press that we have already agreed to that simply are not true. If and when such a request is put to us, obviously we shall give it careful consideration. However, as we cannot know the circumstances in which such a request might be put to us, plainly we cannot say how we would respond.