The government is set to host a parliamentary general debate to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK's submarine-based nuclear weapons programme.

The confirmation of a debate on Wednesday April 3 comes after Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock last week received an assurance from the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, that she would look into holding a debate in government time.

Since April 1969, the Royal Navy has maintained a continuous presence of submarines carrying nuclear weapons at sea.

The debate will be an important marker in a series of celebrations to commemorate the historic event.

Last November, Mr Woodcock held a parliamentary reception to commemorate the first launch of HMS Polaris in April 1968.

The reception brought together submariners and top representatives from BAE Systems, whose Barrow shipyard designs and builds the Royal Navy's submarines, along with members of the supply chain, ministers and MPs to celebrate this remarkable achievement.

In May, a special service will be held in Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the men and women of the Royal Navy who have been patrolling the seas every minute of every hour of every day for the last 50 years.

The debate will be an opportunity for MPs to commend the work of our service members, and the nearly 26,000 civilians employed by BAE and throughout the supply chain who work to deliver the next generation submarine vessels which will house the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Speaking after the government announcement, Mr Woodcock said: “I’m delighted the government has granted time for this debate.

“It is important that we take a moment to thank those who have sacrificed so much to help keep our shores safe.

“It will also be a moment for me to personally thank thousands of my constituents who work tirelessly to design and deliver these remarkable feats of engineering.

“We are living through turbulent times. Threats from Russia and beyond pose a very real risk to our national security.

"To pretend otherwise is to fly in the face of logic. We must do come together and demonstrate the political will for maintaining our deterrent and keeping our country safe.”