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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Contact: ps2@btinternet.com

Written Answers to Questions
Friday 16 May 2003

DEFENCE
Eurofighter
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of total UK expenditure on (a) research and development for and (b) the production of the Eurofighter has been spent in Wales.[Transferred] [113118]
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 13 May 2003]: Payment arrangements for Eurofighter Typhoon are managed by the prime contractors. The Ministry of Defence does not have visibility of the geographical allocation of work (and hence expenditure) within the United Kingdom.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had regarding a change in the UK’s purchase of Eurofighter Typhoons from 232 machines. [111587]
Mr. Ingram: We keep the size and shape of the forward equipment programme under constant review. Our commitment to the Typhoon programme remains undiminished.
Export Licences
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what undertakings the US has given on waiving bilateral export licensing requirements for unclassified information for exports to the UK. [113060]
16 May 2003 : Column 441W
Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom and United States Governments are in the process of negotiating a waiver from the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This would provide for export licensing requirements to be waived in the case of certain unclassified defence items and technical data to Her Majesty’s Government and qualified companies in the UK.
We look forward to the successful conclusion of the agreement.
Illegal Arms Supply
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used in assessing whether a country is likely to be a conduit for arms supply to banned countries. [112291]
Mr. Straw: I have been asked to reply.
The risk of diversion, of strategically controlled goods, to a third country is considered at the time of application for a licence, when this possibility is considered against Criterion 7 of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Criterion 7 addresses the existence of a risk that the equipment will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions and includes consideration of the capability of the recipient country to exert effective export controls.
Afghanistan
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the continued existence of terrorist networks in the regions of Afghanistan outside the control of the International Security Assistance Force; and what counter-measures his Department is taking to address this. [112697]
Mr. Ingram: Al-Qaeda continues to pose a threat both to Afghanistan and more widely, despite considerable success against their leaders and operations. The United Kingdom remains committed to assisting President Karzai’s Government in building a strong, independent Afghanistan committed to eradicating terrorism. The Security Sector Reform programme aims to bring lasting stability to all the Afghan people through building up the capabilities of the Afghans to ensure their own country’s security and stability. I refer the hon. Member to the statement my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, made on 8 May 2003, Official Report, columns 38-40WS, regarding the UK leadership of a Provincial Reconstruction Team.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps his Department is taking to improve the stability of the regions of Afghanistan outside Kabul and its immediate environs; [112698]
(2) what plans he has to extend the peacekeeping duties of British forces in Afghanistan beyond Kabul and the surrounding areas. [112699]
Mr. Ingram: British forces in Afghanistan are not engaged in peacekeeping duties although they do contribute towards the International Security Ass

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