Israel: Arms Trade

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 23rd September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government to what extent the partial embargo imposed in 2014 on military supplies and equipment for Israel has been lifted; what was the reason for this decision; and whether the matter was considered by the Cabinet.

Photo of Lord Maude of Horsham Lord Maude of Horsham The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

There was no partial embargo imposed in 2014 on military supplies and equipment for Israel. However, a review of licences in circulation at the outbreak of hostilities in July 2014 identified 12 export licences the Government would suspend, as a precautionary measure, in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities. The Government was concerned that in these circumstances it would be unable to clarify whether the export licensing criteria were being met. This was announced on 12 August 2014.

The results of a further review were announced on 14 July 2015 ( and concluded that 11 months after the establishment of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, there was now sufficient information from a wide variety of sources to apply standard export licensing procedures using the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria without any additional measures such as the precautionary measure adopted in August 2014.

The specific details of the review were not considered by the Cabinet. This is because export licensing policy is set by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. In setting this policy the Secretary of State always seeks and takes into account advice from other Cabinet colleagues, including the Foreign and Defence Secretaries.

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