Further to my written ministerial statement of 7 February on strategic export control, Official Report, column 7WS, I would like to update the House on progress towards increasing the transparency of the export licensing process. My officials have held meetings with representatives of the exporters and non-governmental organisations—these have been constructive and indicated that there is broad support for the proposals, although exporters understandably have some concerns about the burdens of making regular reports on their usage of open licences. Subsequently, my Department issued a discussion paper and questionnaire in order to obtain the widest range of views on specific aspects of the proposals. The paper and questionnaire are available at:
The closing date for responses is 20 April and I would encourage all interested parties to contribute their views. I will provide a further update as appropriate, at the very latest before the House rises for summer recess.