On Monday 23rd January 2017 I asked the Secretary of State for Defence a question on his statement to parliament on the test firing of a Trident nuclear missile in June 2016. Our exchange is provided below:
Mike Gapes MP: The essence of deterrence is uncertainty—about when, whether or if missiles will be fired. Can I take it that the purpose of the Secretary of State’s statement today is that he wishes to add to the uncertainty and therefore increase deterrence?
Michael Fallon The Secretary of State for Defence: To take the hon. Gentleman’s question seriously, he of course is right that one of the principles of deterrence is to leave one’s adversaries uncertain about the circumstances in which one would employ it. I have simply made it clear to the House today that the outcome of the tests was a successful return by HMS Vengeance to the operational cycle, but I am not prepared to go into further operational detail about the tests themselves.