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Diversified industrials e-briefing: UK withdraws five Egyptian export licences

    • Competition, EU and Trade
    • Competition, EU and Trade - Export controls and sanctions
    • Aerospace, defence and security
    • Industrials


    The UK’s licensing authority for arms exports, the Export Control Organisation (part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), has revoked five export licences to Egypt following civilian deaths during political protests.

    On 03 July 2013, Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s fifth President, was ousted in a military coup d’état after serving as the country’s President for just over a year. Several protesters died and were injured as a result of the political clashes that preceded and followed Morsi’s removal from power.  

    Vince Cable, the UK’s Business Secretary, explained that following the political unrest, licences were assessed on an individual basis “against a range of internationally agreed, stringent criteria which take into account the circumstances at the time the licence application was made”.

    The Business Secretary emphasised that there is no evidence of British equipment being used in the Egyptian conflicts. However, after reviewing the UK’s export licences to the country, the Export Control Organisation decided to revoke five licences. The licences permitted the export of arms components to the Egyptian army and police force.

    Going forward, Mr Cable stressed that the UK “will not grant export licences where we judge there is a clear risk the goods might be used for internal repression, provoke or prolong conflict within a country, be used aggressively against another country or risk our national security”.