The Committees on Arms Export Controls: Press Notice

1 May 2008


Members from four influential select committees will gather together on Thursday, 8 May to take evidence on the Government's policy on the export of arms. Dr Kim Howells MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and officials will give evidence at 1430hrs.

These will be the third 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 minister and officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 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

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Thursday, 8 May at 1430 in Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

Dr Kim Howells - Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Paul Arkwright - Head of Counter Proliferation Department, FCO
Andrew Massey - Head of Arms Trade Unit, Counter Proliferation Department, FCO


  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 scrutinise.

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