The Committees on Arms Export Controls: Press Notice

12 March 2008

GOVERNMENT RECORD ON ARMS EXPORTS UNDER SCRUTINY

Members from four influential select committees will gather together on Thursday, 20 March to take evidence at two sessions on the Government's policy on the export of arms. The defence manufacturers and exporters will give evidence at the first session at 0945hrs. Amnesty UK, Oxfam GB, Saferworld and Transparency International UK will give evidence at the second which starts around 1030hrs.

These will be the second set of witnesses to give evidence to the committees' inquiry into strategic export controls.

Quad Chairman Roger Berry MP, who also sits on the Business and Enterprise Committee, said:

"This is an excellent opportunity for members of four key committees to find out from the defence manufacturers and from non-governmental organisations 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

Representatives of Industry: Thursday, 20 March at 0945 in Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster
Mr David Hayes Chairman of EGAD
Mr Brinley Salzmann Secretary of EGAD
Mrs Bernadette Peers Strategic Shipping Company
Mr Barry Fletcher, Fletcher International Export Consultancy

Non-governmental organisations: Thursday, 20 March at approximately 1030 in Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster
Mr Oliver Sprague Amnesty UK
Ms Marilyn Croser Oxfam GB
Mr Roy Isbister Saferworld
Mr Mark Pyman Transparency International UK

FURTHER INFORMATION:

  1. The Committees on Arms Export Controls (formerly the Quadripartite Committee) consists of four Committees which meet together to consider the control of strategic exports, including weapons. The Committees involved are: Business and Enterprise, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development. The Chairman for these meetings is Roger Berry MP, who is a member of the Business and Enterprise Committee.
  2. The Committees' 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 Committees scrutinize.

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