Select Committee on Trade and Industry Annxes to the Report

Annex G


Strategic Export Controls, Second Report of 1998-99, HC 65: Government Response, Fourth Special Report, HC 270

  1.  In July 1998 the Government published a White Paper on Strategic Export Controls, proposing new legislation as recommended in 1996 in the Scott Report on Arms to Iraq. The Committee decided to inquire into the White Paper, building on its Reports in earlier sessions on the Supergun affair and on the BMARC allegations. The Report was published in December 1998: the response was received in February 1999.

  2.  The outcome of many of the recommendations and conclusions of the Report can only be judged when the Government publishes its draft Bill on export controls, announced in the Queen's Speech in December 2000. Some recommendations have been accepted, including the laying before the House on a non-statutory basis of Orders made under the 1939 Act, and the introduction of a 30 working day target for determination of appeals against refusal of a licence.

  3.  It was partly as a result of the inquiry and Report, together with related inquiries by the Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committees in 1998-99, that these four Committees decided in 1999 to mount a joint inquiry into the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. A number of the policy issues raised are being pursued in that joint inquiry, notably controls on brokering, licensed production overseas and end-use controls.

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