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Exocet Missiles

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 25 November 1982

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asked the Prime Minister if she will take steps to prohibit the export from the United Kingdom by British companies subcontracting to Societé Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale of components for Exocet missiles as long as a state of hostilities exists in the South Atlantic.

No. A number of British companies manufacture components for Exocet under a collaborative arrangement negotiated in 1971 to offset the purchase of the ship-launched version for the Royal Navy. Deliveries to the Royal Navy are continuing and in addition Exocet in either the ship or air-launched version has been sold to some 30 countries. A general embargo would prejudice our own programme for the Royal Navy and impede exports to third parties. Moreover, the French already have sufficient components to complete their deliveries to Argentina under existing contracts which were interrupted at the time of the Falklands conflict.