My Lords, this Question prompted me to look at the National Shipbuilding Strategy, whose first birthday is today. When it was published a year ago, it was meant to be a solid basis for industry to develop. It is interesting to see how it is starting to erode. Paragraph 56 said of the Type 31e ships:
“The first will be in service by 2023”,
but “by 2023” means during 2022. The Minister has just answered a similar question by saying that it will be by the end of 2023. This is the first incremental crumble in the strategy. In paragraph 61, the strategy said:
“We have set a maximum £250 million per ship price for the Type 31e”.
Are either of those statements still sound, or is this one year-old strategy going to crumble incrementally, like all the strategies before it?