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Defence Contracts

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will exercise the Government's special shareholder rights in Devonport Management Ltd. to enable that company to compete freely for defence contracts following his recent discussions with Halliburton Inc; and if he will make a statement. (103373)

Devonport Royal Dockyard is a strategic asset that plays a direct role in maintaining the UK's nuclear deterrent. The Government require assurance that any prospective change of ownership of Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd. (DRDL) or any new influence or control should not adversely affect the essential security interests of the UK. On this basis the Government need to assess whether the planned separation of KBR from Halliburton would be acceptable. MOD is now in active discussion with KBR to ensure that the UK's essential security interests are protected. The ability for Devonport Management Ltd. to bid freely for defence contracts is a key element of these interests.