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Strategic Defence and Security Review

Volume 604: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2016

4. What recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Defence and (b) Ministers of the Scottish Government on the effect on Scotland of the strategic defence and security review. (902846)

While defence and national security remain reserved to the UK Parliament, we recognise the importance of engaging with the devolved Administrations. As I said in my answer to the previous question, Lord Dunlop, the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, and I have had meetings with the Scottish Government to discuss these matters.

UK defence contracts are a major source of jobs in Scotland, with 2,500 people employed on Clydeside. Can the Minister explain why his Government reduced defence spending by 14% in the last Parliament?

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman seeks to hark back, rather than to look forward. At the end of November we published the SDSR, in which the Government committed to increase defence spending in real terms for each year of this Parliament, and that is what we are looking forward to. Much of that investment will be spent in Scotland, and indeed in south Wales, as we procure the Ajax vehicle.