§ Mr. Spellar
The total procurement cost of the Nimrod 2000 replacement maritime patrol aircraft is around £2 billion. The Department's internal plans represent projections and assumptions which inform advice to Ministers on the affordability of particular elements of the Defence programme. Accordingly, I am withholding the information requested under exemption two of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. In addition, disclosure of some elements of this information could prejudice the competitive position of the Department in future negotiations with contractors and reveal commercially confidential data. Accordingly, exemptions 7 and 13 of the Code also apply.