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Arms Embargoes

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Governments policy is in dealing with unfulfilled contracts with countries which subsequently are subject to arms embargoes; and if he will make a statement. [112295]

The Government places considerable importance on UK companies being able to honour their contractual obligations. However, arms embargoes are normally only imposed when a situation has deteriorated to such an extent that a continued trade in arms would be inconsistent with maintaining or restoring international peace and security.

The UK requires that a licence is obtained for each export or supply of equipment on the Military List from the UK or by a UK registered company or national overseas. Every such licence is subject to being varied or revoked, and appropriate action will be therefore taken whenever a new embargo is introduced.