§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the contract between his Department and VSEL for Trident submarines includes arrangements for compensation to be paid or penalty clauses to be exercised in case of industrial action at the VSEL plant.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
Normally, contractual arrangements between MOD and its supplier would be regarded as commercial-in-confidence. However, I can say that there are no penalty clauses in these Ministry of Defence contracts; nor do any arrangements exist in either of the two current Vanguard class SSBN contracts for compensation to be paid in the event of industrial action. However, contractors are expected to mitigate the effects of industrial action to the maximum extent possible.
There will also, of course, be a progressive impact on the company's cash flow as a result of their inability to claim payments under these contracts for scheduled work which is not being achieved.