Nuclear Weapons

Defence written question – answered on 4th July 2011.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what alternatives his Department has considered to the nuclear deterrent.

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

Prior to the publication of the 2006 White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994), Ministry of Defence officials undertook a full review of the widest possible range of options to replace the UK's nuclear deterrent capability. A detailed assessment process to narrow the range of options under consideration to the four generic options reported in the White Paper was then used.

The parliamentary debate on 14 March 2007, Hansard, columns 298-407, subsequently endorsed the conclusions made in the White Paper that the most cost-effective deterrent system was a further class of submarines carrying ballistic missiles.

To support the agreement made in the Coalition programme for Government, that the Lib Dems will continue to make the case for alternatives, work is under way in the Cabinet Office to explore the costs, feasibility and credibility of alternative systems. This work will report to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in approximately 18 months time.

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