A few people have contacted me about the reports into a misfire of a Trident missile last year.

I have absolute confidence in our independent nuclear deterrent. I am aware that in June 2016, the Royal Navy conducted a routine unarmed Trident missile test launch from HMS Vengeance. Having spoken to Ministers and others about this, I am informed that this was as part of an operation which is designed to certify the submarine and its crew. HMS Vengeance and her crew were successfully tested and certified, allowing Vengeance to return into service.

The MOD does not provide further details on submarine operations, for obvious national security reasons. However, the capability and effectiveness of the Trident missile - should we ever need to employ it - is unquestionable. I believe it is absolutely vital that we maintain a continuous independent nuclear deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our national security, and I welcome the recent developments in the construction of the Successor submarines.

The Government has consistently set out the case for maintaining our nuclear deterrent: although no state currently has both the intent and the capability to threaten the independence and integrity of the UK, we cannot know how the international environment will change in the future. This is a very sensible position, and one which I fully support.

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