Defence review out in summer

The long-awaited Strategic Defence Review has been with the Cabinet for the last two months, the Ministry of Defence confirmed this week, adding that it is aiming for a summer announcement. ‘At the end of March, George Robertson put a package of proposals to his Cabinet colleagues and it’s for ministers collectively to decide on […]

The long-awaited Strategic Defence Review has been with the Cabinet for the last two months, the Ministry of Defence confirmed this week, adding that it is aiming for a summer announcement.

‘At the end of March, George Robertson put a package of proposals to his Cabinet colleagues and it’s for ministers collectively to decide on the outcome of the review,’ the MoD said.

It also denied that there was a freeze on procurement decisions. ‘When a procurement decision is to be taken, we make sure it conforms to the direction we’re going in SDR,’ said a spokesman.

Although the private finance initiative features strongly in the review, the MoD is resisting private sector involvement in combat operations.

A government source said Prime Minister Tony Blair would ensure aircraft carrier capacity was not wound down, which is also in line with NATO joint forces planning for Britain.