Defence and Security Industrial Strategy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 23rd March 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 12:49 pm, 23rd March 2021

I appreciate that my right hon. Friend has not yet had a chance to go through this in detail, and I apologise if he did not got a copy in advance, but I would be delighted to appear before the Select Committee; I look forward to being grilled in due course and to explaining the policy in more detail.

My right hon. Friend raised the specific matter of FCAS. We are very proud of this programme. It will be very good news for the north-west of England—for Lancashire, of course—and throughout the country. There is form in Europe for having multiple aircraft productions going on at the same time. In fact, we have moved from three, with Rafale and I am trying to remember the name of the Swedish plane, which I should not forget. [Interruption.] Yes, but at least three have been going on in the past, with Typhoon, and I believe that there is room in Europe to have more than one project. We have different timescales and requirements from our French friends, but we are making a very positive commitment to FCAS: £2 billion of investment, and that will be leveraged with hundreds of millions of pounds from our industrial partners. So we will carry on advancing this; I believe we have a great prospect ahead of us, and if other international partners wish to join us, the phone is on my desk.