Mr Andrew Mackay: When will the contract for the new carriers be signed, and will there be one carrier or, as rumoured, a second shared with the French?
The Secretary of State for Defence (Des Browne): I have made it clear to the House that we are committed to the building of these carriers –
Dr Julian Lewis: I know that!
Des Browne: In that case, I do not need to tell him. When we have achieved the necessary alignment of the work schedule, the commercial arrangements and other related matters, we will set the date for signing the manufacturer contract.