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Government to grant debate on 50th anniversary of continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent

An artist’s impression of Dreadnought. Credit: BAE Systems

The government today announced that there will be a parliamentary general debate to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of CASD next Wednesday 3 April. This comes after Barrow MP

John Woodcock last week received an assurance from the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom that she would look into holding a debate in government time.

Since April 1969, the Royal Navy have maintained a continuous presence of nuclear submarines at sea, which house the UK’s nuclear weapons system. Not a single day of patrol has been missed since its introduction.

This debate will be an important marker in a series of celebrations that have been ongoing to commemorate this historic event. Last November, Mr Woodcock held a parliamentary reception to commemorate the first launch of HMS Polaris in April 1968, and looking ahead to the launch of the continuous patrol in April 1969.

The reception brought together submariners, top representatives from BAE Systems, whose Barrow shipyard designs and builds the submarines engaged in the patrol and members of the supply chain with ministers and MPs to celebrate this remarkable achievement.

And in May, a special service of commemoration will be held in Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the brave men and women of the Royal Navy who have been patrolling the seas every minute of every hour of every day.

The debate will be an opportunity for MPs to commend the work of our service members, and the nearly 26,000 civilians employed by BAE and throughout the supply chain who are currently working to deliver the next generation submarine vessels which will house the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Speaking after the announcement, Mr Woodcock said: “I’m delighted that the government has granted time for this important debate to take place.

“With everything that is going on, it is important that we take a moment to thank those who have sacrificed so much, often being away from their families and loved ones for months at a time, to help keep our shores safe.

“It will also be a moment for me to personally thank many thousands of my constituents who work tirelessly to design and deliver these remarkable feats of engineering.

“We are living through turbulent times. Threats from Russia and beyond upset the relative peace we are currently experiencing and pose a very real risk to our national security. To pretend otherwise is to fly in the face of logic. We must do all we can to come together and demonstrate the political will for maintaining our deterrent and keeping our country safe.”

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