The Committees on Arms Export Controls: Press Notice

14 May 2008

GOVERNMENT RECORD ON ARMS EXPORTS UNDER SCRUTINY 

Members from four influential select committees will gather together on Monday, 19 May to take evidence on the Government’s policy on the export of arms. Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and officials will give evidence at 1400hrs.

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

Roger Berry MP, the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, 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 at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with responsibility for export controls 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

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: Monday, 19 May at 1400 in Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

  • Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State for Energy, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • John Doddrell, Director, Export Control Organisation, BERR
  • Jayne Carpenter, Assistant Director, Export Control Organisation, BERR


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 scrutinise.

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