§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made of the measures needed to protect British defence exporters from being included in blanket regulatory legislation to control private military companies; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. MacShane
The consultative paper "Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation", which was published on 12 February, examines a variety of options for regulation and invites all interested parties to make their views known to the FCO during the consultation period up to the middle of August this year. The Government recognise the need to define carefully the scope of any legislation designed to regulate the activities of private military companies in order to distinguish them from security and defence equipment companies. A full regulatory impact assessment would be drawn up once final decisions on any legislative proposal have been made.