§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for what reasons the British Trident Warhead requires refurbishing early in the next decade; 
(2) what discussions he has had with the Government of the United States to prepare for the refurbishment of the Trident Warhead. 
§ Mr. George Robertson
This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Sir Robert Walmsley to Mr. Alan Simpson, dated 27 July 1999:I am replying to your questions to the Secretary of State for Defence asking for the reasons why British Trident Warhead requires refurbishing early in the next decade, and what discussions have taken place with the United States Government to prepare for the refurbishment of the warheads. This matter falls to me for answer within my responsibility as Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.Chapter four, "Deterrence and Disarmament", of the Strategic Defence Review stated that the Government needed to ensure that Trident would remain an effective deterrent for up to 30 years. Whilst Trident remains in service the warheads will be refurbished as necessary to ensure that that undertaking is fulfilled and that they remain safe and serviceable at all times.There are regular discussions and exchanges of information with the United States in regard to the Trident programme, made under the auspices of the 1958 Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America for Co-operation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defence Purposes (Cmnd. 537 as amended). These discussions include refurbishment of the warhead.