§ Mr. Stephen O'Brien
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Defence on(a) the duration of a possible war in the Middle East and (b) its effects on (i) the performance of the UK economy and (ii) the public sector finances. 
§ Mr. Boateng
The information is as follows:
(a) My Department is in continuous discussion with MOD on a range of issues. These include discussions on military contingency planning. Such planning for events in the Middle East includes the means to avert conflict through the credible threat of force in support of UNSCR 1441 and the weapons inspection process.
(b) The Treasury monitors global developments that affect UK economic performance. An updated assessment of economic prospects, including public finances, will be published in the Budget.215W
§ Mr. Lazarowicz
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial provision he has made for the costs of UK participation in military action against Iraq. 
§ Mr Boateng
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) and my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) on 20 February.