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.