HL Deb 26 July 1999 vol 604 c152WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether control over the conduct of public policy by government and Parliament has been reduced by the privatisation of the arms industry. [HL3721]

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Simon of Highbury)

The UK's defence industry is now one of the most competitive. As a major customer the Ministry of Defence has developed a close relationship with its suppliers; a relationship that the Smart Procurement Initiative aims to bring closer to help ensure value for money in defence acquisition. Applications for licence to export goods entered in Part III of Schedule Ito the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 are assessed using the criteria announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 28 July 1997 and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, and both sets of criteria are also used to assess applications for licences to export dual-use goods to end-users in the Armed Forces or internal security forces of the country concerned. The defence industry, like any other, is normally also subject to the usual regulatory mechanisms.