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Arms Control

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on negotiations on the content of the proposed UN Arms Trade Treaty; when he expects negotiations to be completed and a text to be laid before the House; what discussions his Department has had with Shorts Bombardier on the effects of such a treaty on (a) that company and (b) the defence industry; and what steps will be taken to consult representations of the defence industry if a draft Treaty is agreed by the UN. (320941)

We have made very good progress in securing overwhelming global support to start formal negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in the UN in July this year. These negotiations will continue through 2011 and culminate in a UN Conference in 2012. We would hope to lay a text before the House following this.

We maintain a regular dialogue with a large number of states in support of the UN ATT process, and with a wide range of UK stakeholders. We have not had discussions with Shorts Bombardier, but we are pleased to be working closely with the UK defence industry trade associations to ensure there is no unintended impact on the legitimate trade in arms.