§ Mr. Lawrence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the four nations memorandum of understanding (MOU) for full development of the European fighter aircraft has yet been signed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
I am pleased to confirm that the memorandum of understanding for the development phase of the European fighter aircraft (EFA) programme was signed in Bonn today by Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. The signature of Spain is expected as soon as Spanish Government processes have been completed.
As I told the House on 25 April, at column 22, EFA will fulfil a vital defence need in the best and most cost-effective way. It will continue the trend of successful European collaboration in aerospace. It will ensure that our industry remains in the forefront of this technology to the end of the century and beyond, while ensuring the best possible value for money for the taxpayer.