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Innovative Defence Technologies

Volume 745: debated on Monday 19 February 2024

Defence is investing over £6.6 billion in advanced research and development. We are working with UK industry and academia to identify and invest in innovative technologies, ensuring that we have the capabilities we need to defeat our adversaries.

The RAF has traditionally had a very poor record when it closes bases in Lincolnshire—just walking away, leaving them to go to rack and ruin—but at RAF Scampton we had wonderful schemes for innovative defence technologies, such as a spaceport. Will the Minister now work with the Home Office and me to try to release the bulk of that base so that we can get all these exciting technologies going? The MOD cannot just wash its hands of the base, now that it has been passed to the Home Office. We are supposed to have joined-up government.

My right hon. Friend makes an important point. As he knows, RAF Scampton is no longer part of the defence estate, which means we do not have formal responsibility for it. What I would stress to him is that we are investing in innovation in Lincolnshire, including the significant investment into RAF Waddington associated with our Protector capability.