New curbs on arms sales to war zones

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Indy Politics

Curbs aimed at preventing a repeat of the arms-to-Iraq scandal were announced by Stephen Byers, the Trade and Industry Secretary, yesterday.

Curbs aimed at preventing a repeat of the arms-to-Iraq scandal were announced by Stephen Byers, the Trade and Industry Secretary, yesterday.

He promised to introduce a system of licensing for arms brokering and trafficking to ensure that arms from Britain were not diverted to war zones or repressive regimes.

He said that at present in the UK no licence was needed to traffic in arms. "This has to change and I'm pleased to tell conference that our Government has decided to introduce a system of licensing." However, a Bill is unlikely to be in the Queen's Speech this autumn.

Mr Byers announced £1bn of debt relief for developing countries by year-end, and pledged to link the minimum wage to average earnings.

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