Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2016-01-21.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the response made by human rights groups to figures released by the UK that it sold Saudi Arabia over £1 billion of weapons and air-to-air missiles between July and September 2015.

Lord Maude of Horsham

The UK operates one of the most rigorous and transparent export control regimes in the world. No licence would be issued if to do so would contravene the UK’s strict export control criteria. In this case a single licence accounted for 90% of the total value of potential exports authorised by the licences. This was for a long-term contract for the delivery of a new air-to-air munitions capability over a number of years [and is unconnected to current operations by the Royal Saudi Air Force in Yemen.

Licences granted in a given period do not equate to goods shipped The Department for Business (BIS) export licensing statistics only indicate the number and value of licences granted in a specified period, not the value of actual exports. Licences are usually valid for up to two years and the value of the licence therefore represents an estimate of future export value. As such, the value of licences granted in any one quarter will generally not be the same as the value of goods actually exported and does not provide an indication of goods shipped.