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Small Arms

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 4th July 2001.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 2:30 pm, 4th July 2001

Yes, I agree. There are two sets of problems. Many small arms are circulating, for example, in Africa, so we need to extract them. However, arms are also being exported—particularly from the former Soviet countries that have big arms industries—and they are not controlled. Some of those sales do not come through Britain—people are not allowed to sell arms without a licence from Britain—but they are brokered from Britain. We shall take control over that in the forthcoming Bill, and that is a very important change to clean up our act.