§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how his Department's estimate of the costs of building and equipping two new aircraft carriers is accounted for within(a) the Strategic Defence Review and (b) elsewhere. 
§ Mr. George Robertson
The affordability of the defence equipment programme is assessed through an annual Long Term Costing process, covering a rolling 10 year period. In line with the conclusions of the Strategic Defence Review, provision has been made for those costs of the future carrier programme which fall within this period. It is my firm intention that future Long Term Costings will contain provision for costs which fall outside the current Long Term Costing period.