Nuclear Weapons

Defence written question – answered on 4th July 2011.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the logistics plan for implementing the reduction in nuclear weapons numbers announced in the strategic defence and security review to be completed; when it is intended to commence the return of warheads to the Atomic Weapons Establishment for decommissioning; and when the reduction in stockpile size will be complete.

Photo of Liam Fox Liam Fox The Secretary of State for Defence

I will write to the hon. Member.

Substantive answer from Liam Fox to Angus Robertson:

I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question on 23 March 2011 (Official Report, column 1125W) about the timescales for the reduction in the number of operationally available warheads and their eventual dismantlement.

I apologise for the delay in responding but it was necessary to undertake some work to implement the first stage of this process before I was in a position to respond to your question. In addition, can I draw your attention to the Statement I made on 29 June 2011 (Official Report, column 51 WS).

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) announced a reduction in the scale of the UK nuclear deterrent. The programme to implement the reductions in the number of deployed warheads has now commenced on our fleet of VANGUARD class ballistic missile submarines. On current estimates, the reduction in operationally available warheads will be completed within this Parliament. Our expectation is that the programme for dismantling warheads removed from the operational stockpile will be completed within the timeframe set by the SDSR of the mid 2020s.

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