Thank you for contacting me about AUKUS, the recently announced security deal between the US, UK, and Australia.
I warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement that he, President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison have come to an agreement to create a new trilateral defence partnership and that Australia has taken the decision to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
Under the AUKUS alliance, the UK will enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, ensuring the UK’s people are kept safe from harm and reinforcing shared goals. It will foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains, and represents a concrete articulation of the UK’s ambition made in the Government’s Integrated Review, namely, to strengthen defence, security, and foreign policy ties with like-minded allies across the globe and deepen ties in the Indo-Pacific.
As you might be aware, the first task of AUKUS will be to help Australia acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. Over the last 60 years, the UK has built and operated world-class nuclear-powered submarines and this project will draw on the expertise developed, creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs across the UK, including in Scotland, the north of England and the midlands, reinforcing our industrial base and our national scientific proficiency. It is important to emphasise that the submarines in question will be powered by nuclear reactors, not armed with nuclear weapons, and the UK’s work will be fully in line with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
One of the great prizes of this enterprise is that Australia, the UK, and the US will become inseparable partners in a project that will last for decades, creating opportunities for still greater defence and industrial co-operation.
As a Government Whip, I do not, by convention, sign any Early Day Motions, as doing so is likely to breach the Ministerial Code’s rules on collective responsibility.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP