Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:22 pm on 23rd May 1995.

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Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine President of the Board of Trade 4:22 pm, 23rd May 1995

My hon. Friend will realise that the urgent and imminent competitions will involve the continuation of the existing teams that are at work at present and that will shortly submit the tenders that the Ministry of Defence is contemplating. That division exists already.

I do not know what length of time my hon. Friend is thinking about, but there has been a falling order book—a fall in demand—that may well lead to some rationalisation. If one considers project Horizon, the bid does not involve Vosper, which has the capability—albeit one that is perhaps spread over a longer period than other yards—to become involved in the process. Lord Weinstock has given assurances about the existence of the two teams in the immediate future for the competitions that will take place.