Parliamentary Update 9th June 2015

Attachments: Parliamentary Update - Acronym 09.06.2015.pdf
9 June 2015

Parliamentary update: Nuclear Weapons Policy Liaison Group, 9th June 2015.

Read about the latest political activity around nuclear weapons in the UK.
This parliamentary update is also attached as a downloadable PDF.

Varinder Bola



#Parliamentary Debates1. Parliamentary debates, and written questions and answers

This section shows written answers, statements and oral debtates in the House of Lords and the House of Commons June 2015. For the latest information on written questions and answers, ministerial corrections and written statements, please visit:


#Early Day Motions2. Early Day Motions

  • EDM 91 - UK and the NPT Review Conference
  • EDM 73 - Trident and the Strategic Defence Security Review


#Publications and Papers3. Publications and papers

  • International treaty: [TS No.10/2015] Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in Central Asia
  • Membership of Cabinet Committees


#Nominations for Select Comm Chair4. Nominations for Select Committee Chairs

All nominations received for select committee Chairs are listed here including Defence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.


#Media Watch5. Media watch

June 8th 2015

US nuclear missiles may return to Britain over Russia threat: Foreign Secretary says Government will consider hosting weapons for first time since Cold War

Reviewing a review conference: can there ever be a successful NPT RevCon?


1. Parliamentary debates, and written questions and answers


House of Lords 

Armed Forces: Airborne Maritime Patrol


Lord Empey:

Steady on. Does the Minister not agree with me that one does not need a review to know that, as an island nation with a sea-borne nuclear deterrent capability, we are not even in a position to secure our own deterrent, because we do not have the capability to do so? I understand that all things have to be reviewed, but this is such a no-brainer. It is obviously of great concern if we cannot protect our own sea lanes against an increasingly aggressive Russian naval force. Will the Minister go back to his right honourable friend in the other place and say that we should be proceeding now to prepare the necessary facilities to ensure that we have adequate protection for our nuclear deterrent as well as for our shores?

(Citation: HL Deb, 4 June 2015, c518)


Earl Howe:

My Lords, I absolutely do not accept that we cannot protect our own sea lanes. We have acknowledged that we have a capability gap, following the decision not to bring the Nimrod MRA4 into service, but at the same time we made it clear that we chose to accept that gap because we knew that we could mitigate it through employment of other assets, as well as through co-operation with allies. Even taking operational activity into account, we remain of the view that the SDSR is the right context in which to take a decision of this significance.

(Citation: HL Deb, 4 June 2015, c519)


Lord Reid of Cardowan:

My Lords, does the noble Earl accept that there is an ingenuity in the MoD in producing euphemisms? I was once told that something was being put not into mothballs, but into a “state of extended readiness”. When he mentions the capability gap, will he accept that the maritime patrol aircraft and its facilities is not an optional add-on for a nuclear deterrent but an essential component providing surveillance, security and secrecy of location? What is the point of having a continuous at-sea submarine-based nuclear deterrent if it does not have those features? This has all the hallmarks not of a minor housekeeping problem for the MoD but of a major strategic blunder.

(Citation: HL Deb, 4 June 2015, c519)


Earl Howe: 

My Lords, I emphasise again that this matter will be looked at very closely in the context of the SDSR—indeed, some preparatory work has already been done. I do not accept the noble Lord’s contention that we are without protection in this important area. We have the use of other military assets, as I said, including Type 23 frigates, submarines and Merlin anti-submarine warfare helicopters, and we rely on the assistance that we get from our allies and partners.

(Citation: HL Deb, 4 June 2015, c519)


Written Questions and Answers:


Ministry of Defence

Trident Submarines: Fire Prevention [c140]

Paul Flynn (27.05.2015):

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what procedures exist to stop toilet rolls catching fire on Trident submarines; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of any such procedures.

Philip Dunne (04.06.2015):

Strict safety

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