Update 17/6/2006. A report by Robert Fox in the Evening Standard of 12 June 2006, stated:
Under next year's Comprehensive Spending Review, the Treasury has warned that the defence budget will have to be cut, threatening a number of major projects including plans to build two aircraft carriers.
Chancellor Gordon Brown also wants £1bn taken from defence and given to the budget for homeland security, according to Whitehall officials.
'It is a major defence review and cut under any other name" said a senior official of next year's spending plans, which have already completed their first stage.
.... Ahead of the spending review to April 2008, defence chiefs have already been told that 'at least one major procurement programme has to go'. The most obvious candidate, say several senior officers, is the plan to build two 60,000-tonne aircraft carriers, due to be commissioned in 2012 and 2015.
... Labour's blueprint for defence and foreign policy in the Strategic Defence Review of 1998 first introduced the plan to build the aircraft carriers as a vital tool for overseas operations. The programme was due to go to final construction contract in October but this will almost certainly be postponed.