Arms Trade: Colombia

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 20th January 2021.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK arms sold to Colombia are not being used against the civilian population.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

Arms exports require an export licence, and all export licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

The Consolidated Criteria take into account our obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant rules of international law. They provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to think hard about the possible impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. These are not decisions we take lightly and HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including if there is a clear risk, that the items might be used for internal repression.

In addition, HM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated Criteria.

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