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

My noble friend makes an important point. This entire deployment has been planned with a sharp eye on the possible implications of the pandemic. I reassure both my noble friend and the Chamber that we are deploying the carrier strike group mindful of the risks of Covid-19. We are working hard within the strike group itself and alongside nations that we hope to engage with during the deployment to ensure that we implement and understand the current safety measures and requirements, and can plan activity accordingly. But he makes a good point: what is plan B if, for any reason, the pandemic intervenes in an unwelcome fashion? We will look to ensure that we maximise engagement, as far as possible. We will be creative and innovative and, yes, use virtual means where appropriate.