Committee on Arms Export Controls (formerly the Quadripartite Committee)

Press Notice: Evidence Session

1 December 2006

For immediate release

Attn: News Desks
Political, Foreign, Defence, Trade Correspondents

GOVERNMENT RECORD ON ARMS EXPORTS UNDER SCRUTINY 

Members from four influential select committees will gather together on Thursday, 7 December to take evidence at two sessions on the Government’s policy on the export of arms. Saferworld, Oxfam and Amnesty will give evidence at the first session at 1430hrs. The defence manufacturers and exporters will give evidence at the second which starts around 1515hrs.

These will be the first witnesses to give evidence to the committees’ new inquiry into strategic export controls and the operation of the Export Control Act 2002.

Quad Chairman Roger Berry MP, who also sits on the Trade and Industry Select Committee, said:

“This is an excellent opportunity for members of four key committees to find out from non-governmental organisations and from the defence manufacturers whether the UK’s system for licensing arms exports is working as intended and if changes need to be made.

 “It is vital for the government to show that decisions on licences to export arms are taken thoroughly and also quickly.  Those taking decisions need to have the confidence of exporters and also the public to prevent weaponry and other potentially dangerous goods falling into the wrong hands.”

The witnesses

Non-governmental organisations: Thursday, 7 December at approximately 1430 in Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

Mr Oliver Sprague - Programme Director, Military Security and Police Transfer, Amnesty International and UK Working Group on Arms

Mr Roy Isbister - Head of the Export Controls, Saferworld and UK Working Group on Arms

Mr Simon Gray - Oxfam and UK Working Group on Arms

Representatives of Industry: Thursday, 7 December at 1515 in Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

Mr David Hayes - Head of Export Controls, Rolls-Royce plc, and Chairman of the Export Group for Aerospace and Defence

Mr Brinley Salzmann - Exports Director, Defence Manufacturers Association and Chairman of the Export Group for Aerospace and Defence

Mrs Susan Griffiths - Exports Control Manager, MBDA UK Ltd

Mr Barry Fletcher - Fletcher International Export Consultancy

Notes for Editors:

  1. Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv
  2. Committee website: www.parliament.uk/quad
  3. The Quadripartite Committee consists of four Committees that meet together to consider the control of strategic exports, including weapons. The Committees involved are: Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry. The Chairman for these meetings is Roger Berry MP, who is a member of the Trade and Industry Committee.
  4. The Committee’s main job is to review Government policy on licensing arms exports and licensing decisions.  Each year the Government produces an annual report on Strategic export Controls which the Committee scrutinizes.
  5. News Release: Quadripartite Committee - No. 1.
  6. For further information contact Alex Paterson, Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589.