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Arms Trade: Human Rights

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 5th March 2020.

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Photo of Alyn Smith Alyn Smith Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that UK-exported weapons are not used in attacks that breach international (a) humanitarian and (b) human rights law.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

Weapons exported from the UK require an export licence. All export licence applications are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (known as the Consolidated Criteria), based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from NGOs and our overseas network. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to assess the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities.

Licensing decisions take into account international humanitarian and human rights law. We will not issue any export licences where we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

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