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Mr. Gerald Howarth: Will the Minister give way?

Nigel Griffiths: I hope to come to the hon. Gentleman in a minute. I am keen to respond to as many points as possible.

The hon. Members for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) and for Richmond Park (Dr. Tonge) mentioned the Export Credits Guarantee Department. The hon. Member for Twickenham also mentioned a recent Saferworld report

9 Jul 2001 : Column 629

and allegations of subsidies. I am aware of allegations about the amount of the subsidy. A forthcoming Ministry of Defence study will tackle them, and we do not expect it to justify the claims in the report. The ECGD charges a premium for the business that it supports; it is required to run its credit insurance operations as a business and to generate sufficient reserves to break even. It has contributed money to the Exchequer in the past few years. It also puts United Kingdom exporters on an equal footing with overseas competitors, who receive similar support from their Governments.

ECGD support for exports to the poorest countries is limited to those that back economic and social recovery. It does not support exports of defence equipment to other countries unless a valid export licence is obtained.

My hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Berry) asked about end-use monitoring. Sadly, that is the best example of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. End-use or follow-up monitoring can confirm misuse or illegal diversion only after they have taken place, when it offers minimal opportunity of effective action. Several examples have been cited this evening.

The most effective way to ensure that products and technologies do not get into the hands of unscrupulous end users is to refuse an export licence when there is a risk of such an outcome. The Government therefore set our overseas posts the task of considering proposed end users when we have ground for anxiety.

We monitor reports from human rights activists, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, journalists and even, I suspect, my hon. Friends. The end user's track record is taken into account. Our latest annual report on strategic export controls shows that the reason for the second highest number of export licence refusals is the risk of diversion or re-export to undesirable end users. That shows that we share the aims of the Quadripartite Committee, Amnesty and Oxfam. Our latest report covers the matter, but the powers that the Bill proposes do not limit the introduction of further improvement to the rules on end-user certification.

The hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis) asked whether the powers were too broad. We need to be able to adapt controls to fulfil our obligations under the international export control regimes. However, we have made changes to deal with the anxieties of the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee in another place about the extent of specific measures in the draft Bill.

The hon. Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers) suggested that the Bill is defective because it does not repeal the import section of the 1939 Act. The Committee recommended that we consulted about the clauses to repeal those import powers. We have considered the recommendation carefully. We believe that the controls effect import control regimes under specific United Nations Security Council resolutions. Those regimes are subject to full parliamentary scrutiny procedures and the import powers do not give rise to the sort of issues raised by export control provisions.

If hon. Members wish me to respond to other matters, I shall be happy to do so.

We led the world in halting the manufacture and export of anti-personnel land mines. We banned UK dealers from trading in torture equipment such as electric shock batons. The Bill enshrines our policy to deny export licences to any regime for any product or technology intended for internal repression. It ensures that the UK has one of the

9 Jul 2001 : Column 630

most effective, comprehensive, open and transparent export control regimes in the world, and that even the latest technology cannot be used to evade our tough export controls. The Bill puts Britain at the forefront of international efforts to control an explosion of illegal weapons, and I commend it to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.


Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Order [28 June],

The House divided: Ayes 318, Noes 62.

Division No. 16
[10 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Alexander, Douglas
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Armstrong, Rt Hon Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Rt Hon Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Cann, Jamie
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Rt Hon Robin (Livingston)
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Darling, Rt Hon Alistair
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Mark (Cities of London)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Foulkes, George
Francis, Dr Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Rt Hon Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hodge, Margaret
Hood, Jimmy
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Rt Hon Alan (Newport E)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Rt Hon Adam
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, Rt Hon Tessa
Joyce, Eric
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
Lyons, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
O'Hara, Edward
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Plaskitt, James
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Powell, Sir Raymond
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Robertson, John
(Glasgow Anniesland)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Shipley, Ms Debra
Simon, Siôn
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Squire, Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Vis, Dr Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Jim Fitzpatrick and
Dan Norris.


Barker, Greg
Barrett, John
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Brake, Tom
Brooke, Annette
Bruce, Malcolm
Cable, Dr Vincent
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Clifton–Brown, Geoffrey
Davis, Rt Hon David (Haltemprice)
Doughty, Sue
Evans, Nigel
Flook, Adrian
Francois, Mark
Gibb, Nick
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Heathcoat–Amory, Rt Hon David
Hermon, Lady
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Kirkwood, Archy
Lamb, Norman
Lewis, Dr Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell–Grainger, Ian
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Llwyd, Elfyn
Maclean, Rt Hon David
Murrison, Dr Andrew
Öpik, Lembit
Page, Richard
Paterson, Owen
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mark
Pugh, Dr John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Robinson, Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rosindell, Andrew
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Trend, Michael
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Tyler, Paul
Viggers, Peter
Whittingdale, John
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Douglas Hogg and
Mr. Eric Forth.

Question accordingly agreed to.

9 Jul 2001 : Column 633


Queen's recommendation having been signified

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 52(1)(a),

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