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Israel: Arms Trade

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department has carried out investigations to determine whether export licences have been granted inappropriately for unmanned aerial vehicles used in the Gaza conflict. (257362)

[holding answer 24 February 2009]: The UK operates a licensing system built around pre-licensing risk assessment. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and any other relevant announced policies. Assessments of applications take account of all available information at the time of the application, including information about the situation in the receiving country. HMG seeks advice on export licence applications, as appropriate, from its advisors in diplomatic posts overseas, including for Israel.

Licences will not be issued if any of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria would be breached by doing so. However, the Government reassess licences that are in force if circumstances change significantly in the destination country and can revoke these licences if, in the light of those changed circumstances, they assesses that the export covered by the licence would breach any of the criteria.