To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether industrial co-operation between France and the United Kingdom on the CVF project will have an impact on his Department's contractual arrangements with (a) BAE Systems and (b) Thales UK; (2) if he will make a statement on the proposed Anglo-French co-operation on the CVF aircraft carrier project. 
While we have been exchanging information and discussing carrier procurement issues with the French Government, to date there has been no Anglo-French co-operation on CVF at the industry to industry level. As a result of France's decision to buy a second aircraft carrier we are exploring potential areas for co-operation—such as transferring design information and facilitating, in due course, industry to industry links—to inform the French decision-making process. Much will depend on the procurement route and solution selected by France. It is not envisaged that industrial co-operation will impact on our procurement strategy and our relationship with BAE Systems or Thales UK.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the firms bidding for the CVF project are estimated to have spent on their participation in the competition. 
From the start of the CVF Assessment phase contract in November 1999 to the end of the competitive stage on 20 November 2002, the Ministry of Defence paid around £39 million (VAT inclusive) to both BAE Systems and Thales UK. Additional spending by the companies is a matter for them.