HL Deb 25 June 1998 vol 591 cc41-2WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 1 June (WA 15), whether they consider that British Aerospace plc is circumventing controls on the export of small arms, by procuring parts for the assembly in Turkey of the HK33 assault rifle from Germany, while the machine tools involved are made in Nottingham; and what they understand by the words in their reply, "at least initially". [HL2115]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The HK33 assault rifle is a product of Heckler & Koch, a German-based subsidiary of British Aerospace. We understand that the company has submitted to the German Government an application for a licence to export.

In my reply to the noble Lord of 1 June (Official Report, WA 15) the reference to the sourcing of rifle parts "at least initially" from Germany alludes to the possibility that, at some point in the future, a request for export from the UK might be made for components or machine tools. In the event of such an application being submitted, the UK Government would consider the proposed export in accordance with our stated criteria and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.