Carrier Strike Group Deployment - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:01 pm on 28 April 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 7:01, 28 April 2021

I thank the noble and gallant Lord for his condolences regarding the tragic situation of the Indonesian submarine where so many lives were lost. I share these condolences, and I am sure they are shared by everyone in the Chamber. I was very encouraged to hear what he said about our own submariner community showing support; we are very proud of it for doing that.

The noble and gallant Lord raises the important issue of the implications and impact of the carrier strike group, particularly in the Indo-Pacific area. As he rightly identifies, there are strategic, geopolitical and trade interests there and, of course, the important alliances and partnerships I referred to earlier. He is absolutely correct that the countries he has described are important to the United Kingdom. We already enjoy very strong relationships with these countries through a variety of means, and I am sure we are always willing to explore how these relationships can be advanced and progressed. He raises an interesting point, and that is no doubt something that will give rise to further discussion.