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Arms Exports

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring is carried out by the Government on the end-use of arms exports from the UK (a) by (i) criminal gangs, (ii) pariah states, (iii) terrorists, (iv) paramilitaries and (v) rebel forces and (b) for the purposes of human rights abuses. (95531)

All applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria and other prevailing circumstances at the time of application. If there is any risk that the equipment will be diverted from its stated end use, a licence will not be issued. If information comes to light about possible diversion of equipment after export, this will be taken into account when assessing future applications.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the export by the UK of military parts and equipment to states identified in her Department’s Annual Human Rights Report as major countries of concern on the human rights situations in those countries. (95533)

All export licenses are assessed on a case by case basis against the EU and National Consolidated Export Licensing Criteria. This includes in Criterion 2 the

‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination’.

If an export is considered inconsistent with the criteria, a licence will not be issued. Should it come to light that an export has breached the criteria it was assessed against, this will be taken into account when considering future applications or may result in the licence being revoked.

Given the thorough and strict pre-licensing assessments, we are confident that our exports do not have adverse effects on the human rights situations in the countries of final destination.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her Cabinet colleagues about UK exports of military equipment and parts to (a) Burma, (b) China, (c) North Korea, (d) Iran, (e) Russia, (f) Saudi Arabia and (g) Zimbabwe; and what assessment she has made of the impact of those exports upon the human rights situation in those countries. (95535)

Regular contacts between Cabinet colleagues take place on UK exports of military equipment and parts and will include, when necessary, arms sales to destinations which may be a cause for concern.

All export licences are assessed on a case by case basis against the EU and National Consolidated Export Licensing Criteria. This includes in criterion 2 the ‘respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination’. If an export is considered inconsistent with the criteria, a licence will not be issued. Given the thorough and strict pre-licensing assessments, we are confident that our exports do not have adverse effects on the human rights situations in the countries of final destination.