BUSINESS QUESTION – TRIDENT REPLACEMENT – 19 May 2005
Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Leader's successor as Defence Secretary [Dr John Reid] on whether a decision has been taken in principle to build a new generation of Britain's strategic nuclear deterrent? That would greatly reassure the two-thirds of the British people who, in poll after poll, year after year, and decade after decade, have felt that Britain should continue to possess nuclear weapons so long as other countries have them – although it might not reassure a number of people on Labour's Front and Back Benches.
[The Leader of the House of Commons (Mr Geoff Hoon): When the hon. Gentleman referred to the Leader's successor I was for a moment a little troubled. I assure him that the matter will rightly preoccupy the House in the months and years to come. It was the subject of a great deal of debate yesterday in the Queen's Speech debate devoted to international affairs and defence. I am confident that right hon. and hon. Members will return to the subject regularly during this Parliament.]