Australia news live: government agrees to nuclear-powered submarine deal with US and UK – live updates

The Morrison government has entered a deal to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, throwing previous $90bn contract with French group into doubt. Follow all today’s news and Covid updates

10.21pm BST

If you want to get all the background on this watershed nuclear deal, check out Julian Borger’s story below.

Related: US, UK and Australia forge military alliance to counter China

10.18pm BST

Biden is once again stressing that they aren’t handing over nuclear weapons to Australia:

As a key project under AUKUS, we are launching consultations with Australia with the acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear powered submarines for its Navy. Conventionally armed. I want to be exceedingly clear about this. We’re not talking about nuclear-armed submarines. These are conventionally armed submarines powered by nuclear reactors. This technology is proven and safe.

In the United States and UK, have been operating nuclear powered submarines for decades. I have asked Secretary Austin of the Department of Defence to lead this effort for the US Government in close collaboration with the department of energy and the department of state.

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