Hong Kong

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Roger Godsiff Roger Godsiff Labour, Birmingham, Hall Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2014 to Question 213991, what independent verification would be considered adequate to persuade the Government whether the tear gas canisters used during the protests in Hong Kong on 28 September 2014 were manufactured by a UK company; and what steps his Department has taken to verify whether this is the case.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Holding answer received on 08 December 2014

Following the use of tear gas during protests in Hong Kong on 28 September, the Government carried out a review of licences for UK tear gas exports to the Hong Kong Police. As the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr Vince Cable) has reported to Parliament, the review only identified one licence for tear gas and, after careful review, the Government has decided that this licence will not be revoked on the basis that it does not contravene the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

Given this, the Government has not held any discussions with the Hong Kong Police to verify whether any of the tear gas canisters used during the protests in Hong Kong on 28 September 2014 were manufactured by a UK company nor have we sought independent confirmation. We judge that Hong Kong Police have generally approached the protests carefully and proportionately, but will keep this under review as the situation progresses.

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