To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(2) whether he has made an assessment of the potential effects of the sharing of information between the US and Russia on UK-designated Trident D5 missiles on the operational status of the UK's Trident nuclear weapon system.
Officials from the Ministry of Defence have regular discussions with US authorities on a range of Defence issues. Where discussions relate to the D5 Trident missiles they take place mainly under the auspices of the 1963 Polaris Sales Agreement (as amended for Trident).
Under the terms of the bilateral new strategic arms reduction treaty (New START) limited information is shared between the US and Russia. Procedures for transferring information have been in place since the 1991 START treaty and have been carried forward and updated for New START. Such information exchange between the US and Russia will have no detrimental effect on the operational status of the independent UK deterrent.