§ Mr. Robin Cook
The Government's policy on export licence applications for Zimbabwe was set out in my statement to the House of Commons on 3 May 2000,Official Report, columns 149-62.
As I informed the House, the Government decided last week, in the light of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, to refuse from 3 May all applications for new licences for Zimbabwe for goods and technology listed in part III, schedule 1, of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended (commonly known as the Military List).
This included all new licence applications for spare parts in connection with previous contracts. We also began a review of all extant export licences for Zimbabwe.
In line with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's statement of 9 February 2000, Official Report, columns 184-85W, the Government will not grant export licences for dual-use equipment where there is a clear risk that the equipment would be used in the Democratic 494W Republic of the Congo. Other applications for Standard Individual Export Licences to export dual-use equipment to Zimbabwe will be considered on a case-by-case basis against the national criteria and those in the EU Code of Conduct.
We have now completed the review of extant licences foreshadowed in my statement of 3 May. The Government place considerable importance on UK companies being able to honour their contractual obligations. They do not, therefore, revoke existing licences except in exceptional circumstances. Zimbabwe has now regrettably placed itself in that category. We have, therefore, decided to revoke all extant Standard Individual Export Licences for goods and technology on the Military List (with the possible exception of one extant licence for de-mining equipment already in Zimbabwe) and to remove Zimbabwe as a permitted destination from all Open Individual Export Licences for goods and technology on the Military List.
In addition, Zimbabwe is a permitted destination on four Open General Export Licences (OGELs) and two Open General Transhipment Licences (OGTLs) which allow the export of goods and technology on the Military List. Zimbabwe will now be removed from the coverage of these licences. Amended copies of these licences will be placed in the Library of the House.
We will remove Zimbabwe as a permitted destination from the coverage of extant Open Individual Export Licences for dual-use equipment. Exporters affected by this measure may, however, submit applications for Standard Individual Export Licences for this equipment. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis against the criteria as described above.
We will also be prohibiting transhipment of goods on the Military List to Zimbabwe via the United Kingdom without a licence, by means of an amendment to schedule 3 of the EG(C)O.
The effect of this is that we now have a national arms embargo on Zimbabwe. We will be requesting the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to take the necessary measures to implement the same embargo.
The Government will continue to monitor events in Zimbabwe closely.