§ Mr. Ian Stewart
I have nothing to add to the answer I gave on 1 February to my hon. Friend the Member for Banff and Buchan (Mr. McQuarrie).—[Vol. 36, c.64].
§ Sir Patrick Wall
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is satisfied about the state of the defences of Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stanley
Yes. We maintain a substantial military presence at Gibraltar, including a regular infantry battalion and the Gibraltar guardship. There is also a major naval base with berthing and support facilities for surface ships and submarines, as well as an RAF airfield which can accept all NATO fast jet combat aircraft. As part of our normal re-equipment programme the local Gibraltar Regiment has recently been provided with 105mm light guns and Blowpipe air defence missiles. We keep the defence of the Rock, as an important NATO base, under careful consideration in discussion with our NATO allies.