Skip to main content

Arms Trade: Exports

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the compliance of relevant UK (a) legislation and (b) regulations with the requirements of the EU Common Position on defining common rules governing the control of exports of military technology and equipment; and if he will make a statement. (246129)

The UK has for some time been pressing for the adoption of the EU Code of Conduct as a Common Position; we welcome its adoption in December 2008, which changes the code's status from politically to legally binding on all member states. Export licence applications are currently subject to assessment by the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, adopted in 2000 and announced in this House on 26 October 2000. This brought together in one place principles underpinning both UK legislation and the EU Code of Conduct, to ensure a consistent approach to export licensing. This became part of statutory guidance. As export licence applications are made under the Export Control Act 2002, this remains the same with the Common Position. We will not therefore require any significant change to UK legislation to implement the Common Position, and will be in a position to implement it without delay.