Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:31 am on 31st January 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley The Leader of the House of Commons 10:31 am, 31st January 2013

My hon. Friend and I share a common understanding that the decisions that we have had to make on the defence budget were not ones that we sought but ones that were effectively forced upon us by the financial circumstances that we were left in. None the less, they have been responsible decisions. For example, we have looked at the simple fact of dealing with the £38 billion black hole in the defence budget. Today, in a written ministerial statement, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has set out a future equipment plan for the Ministry of Defence, including a degree of contingency, that is extremely encouraging, compared with the past. He and the rest of the Government are committed to delivering the Future Force 2020 plan that we set out, notwithstanding the fact that it has involved some difficult decisions. I know that there will be opportunities for the House to debate that matter, but we in the coalition Government have committed ourselves to achieving those aims.