Dr Julian Lewis: In my hon. and learned Friend the Minister’s welcome and forthright response to this urgent question, he said that consequences would follow if satisfaction was not forthcoming. Can he explain to the House what those consequences might be, and what options the Government have to discontinue the contract and, if necessary, find alternative and better providers of service accommodation?
[The Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk): In the first instance, there are clauses in the contract that allow for the MOD to recoup – or, indeed, to refuse to pay out – certain sums that would otherwise accrue under the contract. In fact, from 23 January, we will be in a position to do that. We could not do it for the first six months because there is a contractual bedding-in process, but that point has now been passed, so there is, potentially, a financial remedy. As with any contract, however, if the breach has become so severe as to become a fundamental breach, other remedies may follow. My right hon. Friend will understand precisely what I mean by that. If he will forgive me, I will not go down the road of spelling out what all those remedies might be, but I can say that all options are being considered in the normal way, as he would expect.]