§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what effect membership of the Western European Armaments Group will have on the costs of European procurement collaborations. 
§ Mr. Freeman
[holding answer 3 April 1995]: The title of the Western European Armaments Group was adopted following the transfer of the functions of the former Independent European Programme Group to the WEU in 130W December 1992. The group is the main forum for European co-operation in research, development and production of defence equipment and the United Kingdom has been a member since its establishment in 1976. The United Kingdom shares with other European nations constraints on our defence budget. We must constantly seek value for money in all aspects of our work and, in the area of equipment procurement, we have recognised for many years that co-operation with our European neighbours can be a most effective method by which we can achieve this aim.