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.