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Arms Trade: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 15th October 2015.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the sale of arms manufactured by UK companies to governments which have committed human rights abuses.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

This Government supports a responsible defence and security industry that helps meet the legitimate defence needs of other states, and contributes to their security and law and order. We take our arms export responsibilities very seriously and we operate one of the most rigorous and transparent arms export control regimes in the world. All defence and dual-use exports are required to meet the UK’s strict export control legislation and adhere to the UK international commitments including international treaties and obligations. Each application for an export licence is subject to rigorous case-by-case assessment against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Risks around human rights violations are a key part of our assessment.

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