Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 2:30 pm, 2nd September 2013

I am glad to answer that question because it allows me to provide a rather more full answer than was given to the somewhat hysterical outburst from Mr Winnick. The licences that are mentioned in the newspapers today, which I think are those that concern the hon. Gentleman, are two standard individual export licences that were issued in January for sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride. As everybody in the House will know, sodium fluoride is used in the fluoridisation of drinking water and in toothpaste—I suspect that we will all have some today. Potassium fluoride has applications in the metallurgical industry and in the manufacture of pesticides. When it was considered that those substances could be precursors in some other application, the licences were withdrawn. Nothing has been exported.