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22 Nov 12. The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy has published the Government response to its July 2012 report Planning for the next National Security Strategy: comments on the Government response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2010–12. The Committee has called for the next National Security Strategy – expected in 2015 – to be the product of much wider public debate and an attempt at a political consensus. In its latest report it asked the Government for, “an indicative programme for the production of the next NSS with details of the staffing and other resources it will make available for this purpose. The programme should set out what form of public involvement is planned, and at what stage(s) in the process that consultation will take place. It should also explain how the NSS process will interact with the next SDSR and the CSR process.” In the response published, the Government says that it is, “now starting to consider the scope, conceptual structure, process, timing, and possible forms of external (including international) engagement required to ensure that the 2015 NSS and SDSR will meet UK national security needs.” It says that the “the Cabinet Office is leading initial preparatory work” on the NSS but does not give an “indicative programme” or set out the planned staffing, resources or public consultation. It undertakes to consult the Committee in confidence as the forward work programme takes shape and to keep the Committee up-to-date on significant developments. The Chair of the Committee, Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, said, “We welcome the Government’s commitment to consult the Committee as it develops its plans for the next National Security Strategy. We shall want to see good signs of progress by the New Year. The Government does not have much time to build a cross-party consensus on the National Security Strategy, before the build-up to the next General Election overtakes us. We continue to think that a clear national strategy, with cross-party support, is both important and achievable.”

House of Lords Written Answers for Wednesday 28 November 2012

Armed Forces: Defence Cuts

Asked by Lord Dykes: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent comments by the Chief of Defence Staff about the impact of reductions in personnel on the ability of the Armed Forces to carry out tasks.[HL3489]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Chiefs of Staff including Chief of Defence Staff continue to judge. that they can do what the Government are asking them to do and agree that future force 2020 is achievable with the budget allocated.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Wednesday 28 November 2012

Aircraft Carriers

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies have been awarded sub-contracts for construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales; at which sites he expects work under each such contract to be carried out; and what the monetary value is of each such contract. [129725]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 26 November 2012]:I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff) on 13 July 2010, Official Report, column 605W. An updated list of sub-contracts has been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 October 2012, Official Report, column 806W, on aircraft carriers, what the expected running costs will be of a second Queen Elizabeth Class carrier. [130047]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 27 November 2012]: I have nothing to add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 23 October 2012, Official Report, column 806W.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many representatives of the (a) French, (b) Russian and (c) Chinese governments visited the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Berkshire, in (i)

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