Replacing the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent: Progress of the Dreadnought Class

In a vote in July 2016 the House of Commons approved the decision to maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent beyond the early 2030s. After almost a decade of work on the project, that vote subsequently enabled the programme to move forward into its manufacturing phase, which will see the construction of four new Dreadnought class ballistic missile submarines over the next 15-20 years. …

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Naval shipbuilding: February 2020 update

The Commons Library has published several briefing papers in recent years examining surface ship procurement. This short paper looks at the latest developments which include halting the Fleet Solid Support ship competition, a new in-service date for the Type 31 frigates and Sir John Parker’s review of the implementation of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.…

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North Korea: January 2020 update

US-North Korea tensions in 2017 over the latter’s nuclear weapons ambitions were replaced by dialogue and detente between 2018 and mid-2019. However, after two face-to-face summits between President Donald Trump and his Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un, the mood has darkened once again. This briefing reviews developments over the past 18 months and assesses future prospects.…

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EU Defence: the realisation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)

In November 2017, 23 EU Member States submitted a Joint Notification to the EU Council of Ministers setting out their intention to utilise the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) mechanism to further European defence (CSDP). Ireland and Portugal subsequently joined in early December and a Decision formally launching PESCO was adopted on 11 December 2017. The first 17 capability projects were formally launched in March 2018, with a second tranche of 17 projects agreed in November 2018. The UK did not sign the Joint Notification and will, therefore, remain outside of PESCO. In doing so, the UK has no decision making rights over its governance, its projects, or a veto over its future strategic direction. …

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