§ Dr. Moonie
Within the four nation Future Transport Aircraft competition, bids are being assessed on merit against a baseline derived from the European Staff Requirement (ESR). We have made clear to bidders that strict compliance with the ESR will not necessarily be a deciding factor and is but one factor in the assessment by which nations judge the solution offering the best value for money. This assessment includes analysis of operational performance, investment appraisal, risks and commercial and industrial considerations. It would be inappropriate for me to disclose, at this stage in the competition, any aspect of our assessment of the comparative merits of the proposals which we have received.