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Arms Fair: London

Volume 582: debated on Tuesday 17 June 2014

15. What steps he has taken to monitor the human rights record of those countries that attended the DSEI—defence and security equipment international—arms fair in London in September 2013. (904257)

Our arms export control criteria are rigorous and place human rights at the centre of decision making. We do not export equipment where there is a clear risk that it might be used for internal repression.

I thank the Minister for that reply. My understanding is that last year the Government invited delegations to the DSEI arms fair from countries with poor human rights records such as Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and others. Will he assure the House that such countries will not be invited in future?

All countries have under the United Nations charter an inherent right to self-defence, but we judge any application for the export of defence materials from this country in the light of the consolidated criteria. When there is a risk that such exports would be used for internal repression or when such exports would be in breach of United Nations, international or EU embargoes, obviously we do not permit such exports.