§ Mr. David Young
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether it remains the policy of his Department to buy British; and what criteria he lays down relating to buying British when considering awarding contracts.
§ Mr. Pattie
Our policy is to secure the best long term value for money on a national basis in procuring the equipment which the armed forces need for their tasks. In accordance with this policy, we buy British whenever it is sensible, economic and consistent with our international obligations to do so, and acquire from overseas only when the advantages of cost, performance and timescale outweigh the longer term benefits to the Department of procuring the British alternative. The criteria used in deciding the source for our requirements are set out in the recent open Government document "Value for Money in Defence Procurement".