Select Committee on Defence Written Evidence

Memorandum from the Defence Industries Council

  You invited evidence from industry to support the Committee's inquiry into the UK-US Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty. I am writing on behalf of the Defence Industries Council (DIC), which is the senior body which seeks to provide Government with a perspective on strategic defence industrial issues and includes the four national defence Trade Associations (the SBAC, DMA, Intellect and BNEA).

  The DIC was pleased to welcome the signing of this Treaty, and believe it will help to strengthen defence co-operation between the United Kingdom and the United States.

  Once ratified and implemented, the Treaty will provide the means to more effectively leverage the strengths and innovation of the UK and US defence industries to provide state-of-the-art material and support to the men and women of the Armed Forces of both nations and to contribute to their enhanced interoperability on the battlefield, now and in the future.

  The DIC has consulted with its membership and the Trade Association membership to seek views on the Treaty. There appears to be wide spread support across industry for the objectives of this Treaty and a strong desire that legislatures in both countries will give early approval so it can be brought into effect. To illustrate this support, twenty major defence companies, many with strong transatlantic links, agreed to a joint statement welcoming the treaty. These companies were:
BNEAKembrey Wiring
DMARaytheon Systems Limited
EADS UKRockwell Collins
GE AviationSBAC
General Dynamics UKThales UK
IntellectUltra Electronics
Lockhead Martin UKVT plc

  It will be important for the Treaty's success that the implementation arrangements are developed in consultation with industry. We are working closely with the Export Group for Aerospace and Defence (EGAD) and have held a number of informal discussions with the MOD to clarify the proposed approach for implementation. We will wish to ensure that these arrangements do not create an unnecessary additional administrative burden on companies, and that they are consistent with the positive spirit of the Treaty. To safeguard against any unintended consequences we hope that the Government will look to share with Industry the emerging draft implementation arrangements at the earliest possible opportunity, so that we can offer considered advice. We believe the MOD recognises the value of such an engagement.

  We have arranged for a DIC led team to provide oral evidence to the Committee, which will comprise:
Ian GoddenSecretary DIC and CE SBAC
David HayesChairman, EGAD
Dr Jerry McGinnAIA and Northrop Grumman
Sandy WilsonCEO, General Dynamics UK
Alison WoodGroup Strategic Development Director, BAE Systems

  If you have any further questions in advance of the oral hearing please do not hesitate to contact me.

14 November 2007

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