Who does what in Government

Four Government departments have responsibility for arms export issues:

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The UK government's promotion of military exports is co-ordinated by the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation which has 160 civil and military staff. BIS, together with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is the joint parent department of UKTI. The export licensing system is also administered by BIS, although licence applications are circulated to the other departments for comment. The UK Export Finance, formerly the Export Credits Guarantee Department, which offers interest support and financial insurance, is responsible to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP;
Lord Ian Livingston is the Minister for Trade and Investment responsible for UKTI DSO and UKEF;
Michael Fallon MP is the Minister responsible export controls.

Ministry of Defence

The MoD offers expert advice and assistance on military and technical matters to the UKTI Defence & Security Organisation. MODSAP, the MoD's Saudi Armed Forces Project, has 200 staff supporting the UK's arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It also advices the Export Control Organisation on the possible diversion of the exports to third countries, and on the potential risk of the export to the UK or its armed forces.

Secretary of State for Defence is Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP.
Philip Dunne MP is Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, overseeing arms exports, equipment purchases and industrial strategy.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The FCO has responsibility for considering the foreign policy impact of the proposed exports, including the human rights implications. It also has general responsibilities to promote UK exports.

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is Rt. Hon William Hague MP. The responsibilities of the other members of the Ministerial team include the following of relevance to arms exportars:
Rt Hon Baroness Warsi - human rights;
Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP - the Middle East, South Asia and Counter Proliferation;
Mark Simmonds MP - Africa and Private Military and Security Companies (as "Corporate Mercenaries" are called by the Government).

Department for International Development

The Department is doing interesting work on small arms, including supporting the West African moratorium on their import and export. It is also looking at military expenditures, and at security sector reform. DfID offers advice on the potential impact of proposed exports on the development of poor countries.

Secretary of State for International Development is Rt Hon Justine Greening MP.

Opposition frontbench

The Labour frontbenchers with relevant responsibilitis are:

Shadow Business Secretary - Chuka Umunna MP. His deputy with responsibility for arms export promotion, including UKTI DSO, and control is Lord Wilf Stevenson;
Shadow Defence Secretary - Vernon Coaker MP;
Shadow Foreign Secretary - Douglas Alexander MP;
Shadow International Development Secretary - Jim Murphy MP.

Page updated 8 October 2013
 
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