Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Department of Trade and Industry to the Chairman

  I am writing to let your Committee know of plans of the EU Council to adopt a Common Position concerning a prohibition on the sale or supply of arms and related material and on the provision of related services to entities or individuals in Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1701 (2006). The adoption of this Common Position will enable the EU to implement the measures contained in paragraph 15 of UNSCR 1701 in a uniform and rigorous manner, with the purpose of creating the conditions for a lasting peace in Southern Lebanon.

  The UK can implement sanctions measures contained in Security Council Resolutions through national legislation, but a number of EU Member States depend upon the adoption of EU Common Positions and Regulations for implementation. In order for targeted measures to be effective, it is important that sanctions provisions are implemented in a uniform and rigorous manner. The adoption of an EU Council Common Position ensures that the arms embargo provisions contained in UNSCR 1701 will be enforced throughout the EU in a uniform and rigorous manner, thus ensuring the effectiveness of the measure.

  I regret there will not be time for your committee to scrutinise the adoption of the Common Position owing to the pressing nature of the situation in Southern Lebanon, and the urgent requirement to implement UNSCR 1701 on the ground. In the light of the situation in Southern Lebanon, and the urgent need to create the conditions for a lasting peace there, I hope the Committee will understand any decision to agree the adoption of a Common Position on this matter before the completion of scrutiny.

5 September 2006

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