The Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, Sir John Stanley, wrote to the Foreign Secretary, on 19 October and 16 December 2011 requesting answers to questions the Committees raised in relation to the Government’s United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010 (HC 1402).
The areas the Committees requested clarification and additional information included:
- The potential conflict between Government policy on arms exports and promoting democracy and human rights;
- Licence revocations to countries in the Middle East and North Africa;
- The export of sodium thiopental to the United States;
- UK and EU policies relating to arms exports;
- Government monitoring to ensure licensed goods are not re-exported, re-sold or transferred to destinations subject to embargoes;
- Prosecutions for breaches of licensing requirements;
- The Arms Trade Treaty;
- Gifted equipment;
- Transhipment of goods through the UK; and
- Performance in processing licensing applications
The Foreign Secretary replied to the Chairman’s letters on 7 January. A copy of the Chairman’s letters and Foreign Secretary’s reply and annex are attached below.
The Chairman of the Committees, Sir John Stanley, said “The Committees on Arms Export Controls are continuing their rigorous and detailed scrutiny of the operation of the Government’s arms export controls, and of the Government’s national and international arms export controls policies. The Committees put to the Government a large number of questions arising from what is said in the Government’s “United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010”. In accordance with the Committees’ policy of achieving the maximum possible transparency in this important field, the Committees’ questions and the Government’s answers are being made public in full today. I believe they will be of considerable interest to all those concerned with arms export controls, and wider arms control issues.”