Arms report shows up holes in the controls

The Strategic Export Controls Annual Report will contain no information about foreign deals arranged by British-based arms brokers, no information on any arms made overseas under licence from British manufacturers and no information on who will finally use arms exported from Britain.

Without controls in these areas the Government cannot prevent UK arms transfers contributing to human rights violations overseas.

However, Amnesty International UK welcomes the expected improvements to this year's report which include:

· summary information about why some licences were refused, which will highlight the extent to which ethical criteria are influencing arms exports

· an indication of the value of each licensed export, which will give some idea of the volume of equipment involved

· and better presentation, which will make it easier to see at a glance all arms licenses to any given country for that year.

Amnesty International UK Arms Campaigner Beverley Duckworth said:

'The most significant thing about this report is what it does not contain. It only provides details of arms exports covered by a law which is full of loopholes. But many arms transfers go completely unregulated.

'Until the UK introduces new legislation to control foreign deals arranged by British-based arms brokers, to control arms being made overseas under licence from British manufacturers and to clarify who will be the final users of users of British arms, there can be no guarantee that British arms transfers are not fuelling human rights violations.'

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