We assess all export licence applications on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. We draw on all available information, including reports from NGOs and our own overseas network. I can assure the hon. Lady that we will not license the export of equipment where to do so would be inconsistent with the consolidated criteria.
I thank the Minister for his response, but there is a worrying pattern here. Last year, the Secretary of State said that her Department had inadvertently allowed licences for arms destined for Saudi Arabia to use against Yemeni civilians. Now she has failed to answer the clear questions of my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry) regarding the export of riot control equipment to the US and its use against civilians involved in the Black Lives Matter protests. Is that because the Secretary of State has inadvertently allowed those exports, too, or does she simply not know what is happening in her own Department?
Not at all. The United Kingdom has issued licences to the United States in a number of different areas, and those have been provided in written answers to the shadow Secretary of State, but we continue to monitor developments in all countries, including the United States, very closely, and we are able to review licences, and suspend or revoke them as necessary, when circumstances require. That would be done in line with the consolidated criteria.
Arms export criteria state that licences should not be granted if
“there is a clear risk that the items might be used for internal repression”.
In the light of the police in America using tear gas and rubber bullets, which may have been supplied by the UK, to attack Black Lives Matter protesters, will the Minister cancel licences involved in the arming of repression? On a technical point can he tell me whether tear gas equipment is covered by the open general export licence for the US-UK defence trade co-operation treaty?
I refer the hon. Lady to the answer that I have just given. We will continue to monitor developments closely. We will review where necessary. On the technical points that she refers to, I welcome her probing question. We believe that criterion 2 is very important. It addresses the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination, and that is something that Her Majesty’s Government will certainly bear in mind as we review situations in the United States or elsewhere.