BEIS – BAE SYSTEMS & DEFENCE PROCUREMENT – 10 October 2017
Dr Julian Lewis: When BAE Systems says to the Government that this is normal business practice, will the Government reply to BAE Systems by reminding it that it is not a normal business, because it enjoys a near monopoly position in many parts of the British defence procurement structure? Will they therefore extract from BAE Systems a promise to work closely with the Government to examine to what extent any streamlining is really necessary and to what extent it can be ameliorated by common action, bearing in mind the special treatment that BAE Systems so often receives from the United Kingdom Government?
[The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Claire Perry): My right hon. Friend is right to remind us that we spend almost £4 billion in procuring products and services from BAE Systems. Again, if we want to have a globally competitive, highly efficient bastion of success in this vital industry, it is really important to allow the company to go through its management processes. Of course we want to procure from BAE Systems, but we also procure from a wide range of other suppliers. It would be wrong for the Government to try to interfere in business processes, but we can say that we are committed to making sure that the company does this as sensitively as possible. ...]