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Arms Trade: Export Controls

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN HL11931, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that any existing unlimited-value open licences for the export of military equipment do not permit any governments considered to have human rights concerns to receive weapons or ammunition without sufficient scrutiny and end-use verification; and what plans they have to cease the issue of such licences to such countries.

Answered on

19 January 2021

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’).

In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade (DIT) receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any items.

A licence will not be issued if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including where there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

We are able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, in line with the Consolidated Criteria.

We have no plans to cease the issue of open licences.