Questions on Government's UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011

22 October 2012

The Committees publish the questions relating to the Government’s United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011.

The Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls, Sir John Stanley, wrote to the Foreign Secretary on 18 September (PDF PDF 454 KB) asking for the answers to the questions the Committees have raised in relation to the Government’s United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337).

Chairmans comments

"The Committees are continuing their practice, which they initiated for the first time last year, of making the Government’s Annual Report on arms exports and arms control issues subject to detailed written scrutiny prior to taking Oral evidence from Ministers and others. This has resulted in a wealth of additional written information about the Government’s arms export and arms control policies and performance becoming available to Parliament and the public. The Government’s answers to the Committees’ previous questions on the Government’s Annual Report 2010 were published in full at Annex 11 in the Committees’ latest Report (HC 419-I (PDF 3.82 MB) and HC 419-II (PDF 1.51 MB)). The Committees anticipate that the Government’s answers to their latest questions on the Government’s Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 will be similarly informative to Parliament and the public."

The subjects on which the Committees have posed new questions for the Government include:

  • The risk category in which each country to which the Government approved arms exports in 2011 was placed;
  • The extent to which Ministers involve themselves in arms export licence decisions;
  • The extent of the export controls by the UK Government and the EU over chemicals being used to carry out executions by lethal injection in the United States;
  • The relationship between the Government’s human rights policies and its arms export policies;
  • Why when there was a record number of seizures of controlled goods by HM Revenue and Customs in 2011-12, there was only one prosecution;
  • Arms export policy towards Bahrain;
  • The Government’s policies in relation to a considerable number of international arms control agreements;
  • The Government’s policy on obtaining end-user undertakings from the recipients of gifted military equipment, and why the Government has gifted equipment to the US Air Force and doesn’t know its value;
  • The reasons why the Government is granting an increasing number of Open arms export licences rather than Standard Individual licences; and The reasons why there has been a slump in the Government’s arms export licence performance on appeals despite the number of appeals being nearly halved.

The Chairman has asked the Foreign Secretary for the answers to the Committees’ questions by 9 November 2012.

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