My Intervention in the AUKUS Defence Partnership debate

John Redwood: (Wokingham) (Con):
I warmly welcome the announcement and the work that has gone into it. Can the Minister give the House any indication of the first phase of roll-out, and of how many submarines of the new type will be built? How many of those could be for the Royal Navy?

Alex Chalk, Minister for Defence Procurement:
We know, come what may, that the first of these submarines will be built in Barrow, and we have already begun the procurement of long-lead items for that initial batch. Precise numbers will emerge in due course, and that will depend on all sorts of things, including how quickly the Australian industrial base matures and so on. I reassure my right hon. Friend that the first boat will be built here in the UK, and work is being done to ensure that the necessary components for future builds are already being procured.


  1. Mickey Taking
    March 17, 2023

    Boris Johnson has been reselected as the Conservative candidate for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.
    It follows speculation the former prime minister might seek a safer seat ahead of the next general election in 2025. Allies of Mr Johnson have always rejected this idea.
    While Mr Johnson holds a 7,000-vote majority, his west London seat is seen as a realistic target for Labour at the next election.
    Since leaving office in September, he has declared more than £1m in speaking fees.

    1. Ian B
      March 17, 2023

      @Mickey Taking as a pun the Uxbridge and South Ruslip selection team are ‘Taking the Mick’ The man behind the mess the UK is in, with his own collective responsible individuals still ruling in Government – what a mess

    2. Barbara
      March 17, 2023

      Who do I vote for if I want low taxes and a small but more efficient public sector?

      1. Glenn Vaughan
        March 17, 2023

        The Reform Party.

    3. Ian wragg
      March 17, 2023

      Goid for him
      He was head and shoulders above the two pratts we have incharge at the moment. Even Truss was a conservative.

    4. Bill B.
      March 18, 2023

      Whatever else he may or may not be, MT, Boris is an entertaining speaker. Who would pay even £1 to hear Starmer speak?

      1. Mickey Taking
        March 18, 2023

        well Ukraine promoted a comedian to the top job copying what we had done before.

      2. hefner
        March 18, 2023

        BB, Are you a fan of Guy Debord’s ‘The Society of the Spectacle’?

  2. Lifelogic
    March 17, 2023

    Will there be any british steel to use by then or any reliable energy to use?

    “Everything comes second to the socialist NHS
    It’s a sign of the times: even Jeremy Hunt thinks the point of economic growth is to boost health spending” Kate Andrews today.

    The recent vast “health” expenditure vaccines, lockdowns, test and trace, hospital services closed down… has done huge net harm to both people’s health and to the economy.

    1. Sakara Gold
      March 18, 2023

      Stupid boy. The UK has not made the sort of steel that can withstand sea pressure at 500 fathoms since the 1970’s. The steel for these new submarines will come from Thyssenkrupp in Germany, as does all steel for RN ships

  3. agricola
    March 17, 2023

    Questions on quantity, delivery dates etc should not be asked in public. Details of this contract come under national and international security, answers to which only help our enemies. I only hope for the sake of those who will operate these boats that there is the utmost vigilence into the hardware and anything else that is allowed onboard. One rogue chip, permanent or carried aboard could be disasterous. So ask such questions and comment in private.

    1. glen cullen
      March 17, 2023
  4. Ian B
    March 17, 2023

    The UK roll out depends on the Australian industrial base?

  5. miami.mode
    March 17, 2023

    Can the subs at Barrow be built with steel made in Britain or will we have to import it?

    1. Sakara Gold
      March 18, 2023

      A significant proportion of the steel for these new boats will have been reclaimed from the hundreds of coal-fired power stations that have been scrapped over the past 15 years, replaced by windfarms harvesting free energy

  6. Barrie Emmett
    March 17, 2023

    I hope this Aukus deal will enable the government to consider investing in the small nuclear reactors for our energy needs, as I read that Rolls Royce will be building the reactors to power these submarines. One assumes it is the same technology.

  7. Berkshire Alan
    March 17, 2023

    Good that they are at least thinking ahead, let us hope that technical changes in specification to the original are not needed through lack of initial foresight, which then leads to increased costs, financial penalties or extensive delays, has often been the case in the past..

    1. Berkshire Alan
      March 18, 2023

      I see it is being reported today that our latest/second Carrier broke down because it sailed with the knowledge of a damaged propellor, we now have a £20 million bill due to such a decision and it has been out of service for some months.
      Difficult to make it up given the first carrier had a similar type of problem, which had been highlighted during its trial’s (programme shown on TV)
      We seem to take ages to learn the same lessons over and over again.
      WHY ?

  8. Bloke
    March 17, 2023

    The Partnership might involve joint agreement controlling how each submarine is used and reacts to threat of risk. In such circumstance, which vessel belongs to whom may be less important.

  9. MFD
    March 17, 2023

    The FIRST boat will be built in UK, is that political speech for “ all the rest will be built in Aussie land

    It would not surprise me!

  10. glen cullen
    March 17, 2023

    While I applaud the tri-pact deal with the USA, UK and Australia, I’d like to know the overall cost, how many submarines are we the UK acquiring, will they have USA nuclear weapons and strategically who are the targets

  11. The Prangwizard
    March 18, 2023

    It will be nonsense and sabotage of our industrial capability to build only one boat. All the costs, design and production difficulties go into the first of everything.

    The thought that we might build only one if Australia can get going would be more destruction of our manufacturing and it wouldn’t surprise me Sunak has agreed that we bear all the cost and risk.

    We know that Sunak is intent that we should make nothing here if it is against his ‘green’ fanaticism. Please note no home coal yet, no ironstone. He’s wants to achieve 100% dangerous woke too.

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