Arms Trade

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 12th February 2013.

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Photo of George Galloway George Galloway Respect, Bradford West 12th February 2013

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

(1) with which Arab leaders the Prime Minister has discussed the sale of British arms since May 2010;

(2) whether he insisted in meetings with his counterparts in Arab states that sales of arms and materiel would be dependent on such states instituting meaningful democratic reforms.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 12th February 2013

The Prime Minister's international contacts include regular discussions with those in leadership positions in Arab League member states.

This Government takes our arms export responsibilities extremely seriously and operates some of the most rigorous export controls in the world.

All applications to export controlled goods or services to any overseas destination are rigorously assessed case by case against the Consolidated European Union and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The criteria include consideration of a wide range of factors, such as the human rights record and fundamental freedoms of the country concerned, the preservation of regional peace and security and stability.

I, and my ministerial colleagues have consistently promoted UK defence and security exports in meetings with our counterparts across the globe as part of this effort. We will continue to do so, as part of the spectrum of support we are providing to all sectors of the economy. This spectrum of support is a key principle of our industrial strategy.

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