This page looks at Parliamentary and Government developments relevant to the arms trade.
Details of the Government Ministers with relevant responsibilities, as well as their Opposition counterparts, can be found here.
Each Government Department has a Select Committee monitoring its work. These multi-party committees of backbench MPs also hold inquiries into specific aspects of their Department's work. The Committees generally most relevant to the arms trade are the:
The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC), includes representatives from the four committees above. In July 2013, it published a report in three volumes - Volume I: Volume II and Volume III. The CAEC report says that it is "fundamentally anomalous" for countries that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office lists as being of human rights concern are listed as priority markets by the Government's arms export agency, UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO). Currently, Saudi Arabia and Libya appear on both lists.
CAEC also reiterates its belief that there is "an inherent conflict between strongly promoting arms exports to authoritarian regimes whilst strongly criticising their lack of human rights at the same time" and asks the Government to acknowledge the contradiction.
Early Day Motions
These are a kind of parliamentary petition which show the strength of feeling on an issue, and whether or not there is cross-party support. They are usually only signed by backbenchers. MPs can add their names to an EDM any time Parliament is sitting and the EDMs remain open for signature until the end of the parliamentary session, at the moment until May 2013.
Current EDMs relevant to CAAT's work are: