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Terms of Business Agreement

Volume 535: debated on Monday 14 November 2011

The terms of business agreements are unique to the maritime sector and reflect our collaborative work with industry to transform the surface ship build and support, and submarine support, areas. The Department has separate TOBAs with BAE Systems Surface Ships and Babcock Marine, both of which are performing well and currently delivering savings in excess of their targeted benefits. These are 15-year agreements and we have not decided whether or how they will be replaced.

I presume that, under those conditions, the Secretary of State has not had an opportunity to speak to any of the defence industries.

We have not yet had any discussions with industry about how these arrangements will be carried forward in future—in some 14 years’ time. However, the TOBAs are performing very well and delivering savings in excess of their expected benefits. I promise my hon. Friend that we will talk very carefully to all those involved, including Plymouth city council and him, about any future arrangements when the time comes, but that is not quite yet, I fear.