Memorandum from the Campaign Against the
Thank you for your letter of 27 November inviting
the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) to suggest areas on which
the committees should focus their inquiries over the coming year.
CAAT welcomes the new Quadripartite Committee and hopes it will
be as effective as the last Parliament's in shedding light on
the issue of military exports and suggesting changes to current
practice. CAAT's ideas for the next year follow.
The effects of military exports on the UK economy
Arms exports are widely perceived as a money-earner
for the UK and the financial benefit of arms exports is taken
as a self-evident truth. Is this actually the case? Or are they
subsidised? A number of studies on economic aspects of military
exports have been published recently or are due shortly.
A report commissioned by the UK
government into the benefits of arms exports to the UK economy
is expected before Christmas.
A report by the Oxford Research
Group and Saferworld, published recently, shows that such exports
CAAT is producing a series of economic
factsheets, which should be ready very soon, and has commissioned
a report from Defence and Aerospace Analysts on employment and
military exports which should be available by Easter.
CAAT suggests that these reports present a good
opportunity for your committees to consider the effects of military
exports on the UK economy by examining these studies, taking evidence
from those who produced them and others, and investigating this
The Export Bill
The secondary legislation is due to be published
in the spring and the Government has announced that there will
be a consultation period.
CAAT suggests that the committees allocate time
to a thorough investigation of the secondary legislation and,
in particular, whether and to what extent it will enable the Government
to act to address some of the concerns raised during the passage
of the Export Bill through the House of Commons. These include
the cumulative effect of exports on overseas development, and
controls on production under licence overseas and on the extra-territorial
activity of UK citizens and companies with regards to arms brokering.
End-use controls and parliamentary prior scrutiny,
which the Government said did not need legislation, should also
The Government is due to publish its Green Paper
on mercenaries and private military companies.
CAAT believes this is something that the committees
will have a view on; and feels an inquiry and response from the
committees on this would be helpful in ensuring any future legislation
Issues arising from Ballistic Missile Defence
UK companies are anticipating contracts from
the United States' Ballistic Missile Defence projectcould
their potential involvement affect UK decision-making on BMD?
What impact is BMD likely to have on missile proliferation?
CAAT suggests that your committees keep a watch
on the impact of BMD on different aspects of Government policy.
4 December 2001