CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – FUNDING OF TRIDENT – 27 November 2017

[Tom Tugendhat (Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee): My hon. Friend (Sammy Wilson) – I do consider him a friend – will know extremely well that I think the UK’s generous position towards the defence of Europe is not only important, but a matter of our own self-interest. Our frontier should start not at Dover, but at the furthest extents of our allies and ships. In ensuring that we have a continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent and that our submarines and ships are under way across the globe, we ensure that we push our borders out from our own shores and that our people are safer.]

Dr Julian Lewis: My hon. Friend mentions the continuous at-sea deterrent. Given the necessary upfront investment in new submarines, what does he make of the idea put about on the Government Benches that perhaps this major investment should be met from the Treasury reserve?

[Tom Tugendhat: My right hon. Friend knows extremely well that before 2010 that was exactly where it was met from, because it is an ongoing operation. I urge the Treasury to look very hard at doing so again to ensure that the flux in funding that comes with an expensive programme such as the nuclear deterrent is maintained by the whole of Government. It is, after all, a strategic programme, not a military programme in the standard sense. ... ]