Shadow defence minister Chris Evans has urged the Government's promise of a 'jobs bonanza' in relation to the AUKUS submarine project to be 'underwritten by contractual guarantees'.

Australia will operate a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines based on a British design as both countries modernise their navies.

The Aukus deal - involving Australia, the UK and US - will see the new boats in operation in the late 2030s following a construction phase which will create thousands of jobs in the UK.

The new SSN-Aukus submarines will be in operation for the Royal Navy by the late 2030s under the plan, and will also give Australia its first nuclear-powered capability.

Speaking in a debate about defence in the House of Commons he asked: "The Aukus agreement is a real game-changer not only for our forces, but also for British industry. Now, the Government has promised a jobs bonanza for generations to come in places like Derby, Barrow-in-Furness and Devonport ... will this promise be underwritten by contractual guarantees and ensure that future generations are trained in the skills that we need for this vital programme?"

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace replied: "They are already underwritten by contractor guarantees. In Barrow-in-Furness, BAE are recruiting from 11,000 to 17,000 jobs. Derby itself is investing for the next generation of reactor and that is starting.

"So, the key point of Aukus is not only it gets a commitment from Treasury and the Government for the British replacement of the Astute-class, but it locks in that potential of Australian supply chain and working together collaboratively, not only for skills here, but also in Australia.

"So, it is already under that process, £2 billion were unlocked recently to start building the infrastructure needed both in Derby and BAE in Barrow, and we'll continue to do it. This is not just the beginning, this is actually further down the path, but the real work starts now."

He added: "Building complicated machines such as submarines has the benefit of a long and broad supply chain. The AUKUS model will be truly collaborative: while based on a UK submersible ship nuclear replacement, I expect it over time to be built by Australian hands and with United States skills and supply chains, which will provide opportunities to both countries, alongside ourselves. That is good news for British industry, for skills in places such as Barrow-in-Furness, and for our alliances with Australia and the United States."