Thomas Docherty – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Thomas Docherty on 2014-06-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether a Minister will be responsible for preparing the Department’s response to the Belgian government’s request for information regarding the Typhoon as a successor to their F-16 fleet.

Michael Fallon

The Eurofighter Typhoon programme is carried out in partnership with the Governments of Germany, Italy and Spain. This includes cooperation on exports. The Government of Belgium has expressed an interest in Typhoon as well as other competing aircraft as a potential replacement for their F-16 fleet. UK Trade and Investment have been invited, to participate in preliminary discussions at official level on Typhoon. United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) officials are working with colleagues across Government, in the partner nations and with Eurofighter GmbH to coordinate a response.

Within UK Government work on Typhoon export campaigns is led by UKTI, but HMG takes a collaborative approach to defence exports and so all campaigns are a cross departmental effort. Information on staffing numbers is not therefore available centrally.

Ministerial responsibility for UKTI rests with my noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment (Lord Livingston of Parkhead). My noble Friend reports to my Rt Hon Friends the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, as the two responsible Cabinet Ministers.

Information regarding Ministers’ meetings is published by the Department on the internet: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-business-innovation-skills&publication_type=transparency-data

The Minister of State for Trade and Investment discussed Typhoon exports during his meeting with BAES on 18 December 2013. The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills has no immediate plans to meet his Belgian counterpart.