Select Committee on Trade and Industry Seventh Report


THIRD, THIRD, SECOND, SEVENTH REPORT

The Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees have agreed to the following Report:—

STRATEGIC EXPORT CONTROLS: ANNUAL REPORT FOR 1999 AND PARLIAMENTARY PRIOR SCRUTINY

I INTRODUCTION

Quadripartite Committee, 1999

1. It is now almost two years since four Committees — Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry — met together to agree a way forward on joint examination, through the four Committees meeting together as the "Quadripartite Committee", of the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. The first Annual Report, covering the period from May to December 1997, was published on 25 March 1999. We heard oral evidence from several NGOs on 15 June 1999, and had hoped to hear oral evidence from the Foreign Secretary in July 1999. When he was obliged to postpone this to November 1999, we published the oral and written evidence received, with a brief Special Report — henceforth referred to as "our June 1999 evidence."[1]

First Report, February 2000

2. The second Annual Report, covering 1998, was published on 3 November 1999, a few hours before we heard evidence from the Foreign Secretary on it and the first Annual Report. We reported on the Annual Reports for 1997 and 1998 in February 2000, and also made a number of recommendations on the content and layout of future Reports — henceforth "our February 2000 Report."[2] The Government's Reply was published as a Command Paper in July 2000, at the same time as the Annual Report for 1999.[3]

Second Report, July 2000

3. We heard oral evidence on 4 May 2000 from the Minister of State at the FCO on several matters which had arisen in the preceding months, in particular the granting of licences for aitrcraft spares for Zimbabwe, and their subsequent revocation. On 25 July 2000 we published our second Report, which covered these matters, and set out our proposals for prior parliamentary scrutiny — henceforth our "July 2000 Report."[4] The Government's response to this Report was published as a Command Paper on Friday 9 December 2000 — henceforth "the Government's 9 December 2000 Response".[5] This rejected our proposals for prior parliamentary scrutiny.

Response and Debate, December 2000

4. Both our Reports and the related Government Responses were debated in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 14 December 2000.[6] Following that debate, and the Government's 9 December 2000 Response, we wrote to the Foreign Secretary on 12 January 2001 in response to the Government's rejection of prior parliamentary scrutiny. The letter is reproduced as an Appendix to this Report.

This Report

5. In this Report, we set out —

  • our conclusions and recommendations on the application of strategic export controls on several individual states;

  • the outcome of our scrutiny of the Government's 1999 Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls;

  • our revised proposals for prior parliamentary scrutiny.



1  
Fifth, Third, Second and Ninth Special Reports of the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees, HC 540 of session 1998-99 Back

2  Third, Second, Third and Fourth Reports of the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees, HC 225 of session 1999-2000 Back

3  Cm 4799 Back

4  Eleventh, Seventh, Seventh and Eleventh Reports of the Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade and Industry Committees, HC 467 of session 1999-2000.  Back

5  Cm 4872 Back

6  HC Deb, 14 December 2000, cols 1-42 WH Back


 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 14 March 2001