MPs awaiting decision on refit for Trident submarines

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Indy Politics
NO DECISIONS have been made on the politically explosive issue of whether the Trident refitting contract should be awarded to Devonport dockyard in Plymouth rather than Rosyth, Fife, the Government insisted yesterday, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

As John Major kept an appointment with more than two dozen West Country Tory MPs, he agreed to meet Gordon Brown, Labour's economic spokesman and Rosyth's MP, next week, promising that no decision would be taken before the meeting. According to Mr Brown, the Rosyth dockyard's bid is pounds 10m cheaper than Devonport's.

Mr Major also agreed to meet Scottish Tories led by Bill Walker, MP for Tayside North and chairman of Scotland's backbench MPs.

The West Country MPs appeared most confident, believing the contract would go to their yard, which has always been favoured by the Navy.

An ad hoc Cabinet sub-committee is expected to consider a Ministry of Defence report on the bids tomorrow. But the final decision will be made by the full Cabinet, possibly within a fortnight.