Public debate on defence matters and Britain’s place in the world is always welcome and the Ministry of Defence encourages this through its frequent engagement with Parliament. We also routinely engage with the service community, academics, think-tanks and other stakeholders in the course of policy formulation and I would expect this to accelerate in advance of the formal Cabinet Office-led cross-Government SDSR.
Given the importance of winning the informed consent of the British people for the payment of the insurance premium that guarantees our freedom and security, will my hon. Friend commit to following the good, if somewhat belated, example of the previous Government and publishing a Green Paper to build consensus ahead of the next SDSR?
The precise questions to be asked and the nature of the asking are a matter for the next Government, since this review will take place after the general election. Of course, both parties, of which one is likely to form the next Government, are represented in the Chamber today and I have no doubt that they are listening to what my hon. Friend has to say.