§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the work of the informal group of Government experts of member states of the Western European Union, the Western European armaments group and the European Union to study options for a European armaments policy.
§ Mr. Freeman
The informal group of Government experts was set up in October 1994 to undertake a fundamental review of European armaments policies, centring on an examination of the means of ensuring security of supply within Europe and within the framework of a competitive industry; harmonisation of defence export policies; and standardisation of equipment requirements and procurement practices. The group has held three meetings to date and is expected to complete its work later this year.