Arms Trade: Exports

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 9th September 2013.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on assessing the human rights record of countries before permitting arms exports from the UK to those countries.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

All export licence applications are considered by the Government on a case-by-case basis and in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) consults the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on a number of the Criteria including Criterion 2—the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In making our assessment the FCO looks at information from a wide range of sources—including our global network of Posts, international organisations, the media, and non-governmental organisations. The Government will not issue an export licence where we judge there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

Detailed information on the assessment of export licensing applications can be found in the Government's Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls laid before the House on 12 July.

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