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Procurement Policy

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 15 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will pursue a procurement policy designed to encourage the restructuring of the European armaments industry as suggested in recommendation No. 338 of the Assembly of Western European Union.

United Kingdom defence procurement policy is designed to encourage collaborative solutions to our needs when this makes sense. Such joint projects have led to the formation of important international consortia, such as PANAVIA, and I expect further similar developments in the future.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will raise with his European colleagues within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation the need to co-operate the collection and circulation of information on European supply and demand in armaments, the choice of armament programmes and their overall financial, technical, economic and social repercussions, as suggested in recommendation No. 337 of the Assembly of Western European Union.

My right hon. Friend will not be raising this matter with his colleagues, since the elaborate machinery suggested in the recommendation is unlikely to add usefully to the practical work of bringing together information on future equipment needs already being done within Independent European Programme Group and Conference of National Armaments Directors.