November 10, 2015 / 6:34 PM / 2 years ago

Britain denies report nuclear deterrent to cost 167 billion pounds

NACKA, Sweden (Reuters) - Britain’s defense secretary on Tuesday denied that the overall cost of replacing and maintaining Britain’s nuclear deterrent would reach 167 billion pounds ($252 billion), saying it would be less.

Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (L) and Home Secretary Theresa May listen to Prime Minister David Cameron deliver his keynote address at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Britain October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

In October, Reuters reported the cost would reach 167 billion pounds over its three decade long lifespan, much more than expected for the Trident nuclear deterrent, according to a lawmaker’s and Reuters’ calculations based on official figures.

“No, it is absolutely inaccurate. That is not right,” Michael Fallon told Reuters in Nacka, just outside Stockholm, where he was meeting defense ministers and officials from the Nordic and Baltic countries, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany.

“We will be publishing an updated figure in our five-yearly strategic defense review in a couple of weeks time and parliament will then have the latest figure,” he added.

When asked if the cost would be lower, he said “Yes, absolutely”, without giving more details.

($1 = 0.6620 pounds)

Reporting by Daniel Dickson and Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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