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Strategic Defence Review

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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When he plans next to meet the Secretary of State for Defence to discuss the foreign policy basis for the strategic defence review. [16012]

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will remain in close touch with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on the strategic defence review as on the many other matters on which we work together.

Is the Minister not concerned that his right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury might well be even more diligent in meetings with the Secretary of State for Defence? Will he not accept that the strategic defence review is entirely Treasury driven? If his answer to that question is no, will he stake his reputation on that?

I stake my reputation on every answer to every question, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the defence review is Foreign Office led. When determining how to meet Britain's needs, foreign affairs dictate it and defence ensures that it happens.