QinetiQ

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 29th March 2010.

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Photo of Charles Kennedy Charles Kennedy Liberal Democrat, Ross, Skye and Lochaber 2:30 pm, 29th March 2010

If he will visit Kyle of Lochalsh and Raasay before resubmission of proposals on the future of QinetiQ operations to discuss the effects of those operations on that area; and if he will make a statement.

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Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support)

I would be delighted to visit Kyle of Lochalsh and the Raasay ranges. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the proposals put forward by QinetiQ to rationalise those ranges have now been withdrawn. If in the future those proposals are resubmitted or if other proposals are made, I shall certainly visit the ranges before taking any decisions-as I did, as the right hon. Gentleman will recall, in the case of the Hebrides ranges last year.

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Photo of Charles Kennedy Charles Kennedy Liberal Democrat, Ross, Skye and Lochaber

I thank the Minister for that characteristically courteous reply and for his earlier letter to me on the matter, which will cause a good deal of reassurance locally. I hope that when a new report comes forward, if any does-it is rumoured that that might happen in the autumn, and perhaps he could give us an indication on that point-any such visit would involve all relevant community groups and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support)

I cannot give the right hon. Gentleman any indication of any timing or, indeed, predict any particular proposals that might come forward in the next few months, but I repeat my offer.

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