Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  With regard to the latest timetable for publication of the draft Bill, I would refer you to the answer given on 14 February to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Dr Jenny Tonge MP (Cols 139W-140W), a copy of which I enclose (see below).

  With regard to the request that the Committee be allowed to examine the instructions for the draft Bill that have been sent to Parliamentary Counsel, it has been the consistent practice of successive Governments not to disclose correspondence between Departments and Counsel. Disclosure of such correspondence, including instructions to Counsel, would be a breach of the necessay confidentiality observed in discussions between Departments and Counsel regarding the drafting of new legislation. The instructions for the draft Export Control Bill have not been shown to anyone outside the Government.


  Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made by his Department on the publication of the draft Export Controls Bill.

  Dr. Howells: Work is continuing to prepare the draft Export Control Bill for publication and the Government will publish the Bill as soon as it is ready. It is not possible at this stage to give a precise date but we hope to be in a position to publish the Bill within the next few months.

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