On March 26th 2013, at column 959, I had asked about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and on 11th June the Ministry of Defence replied by letter. The Minister stated that armed remotely piloted aircraft fall within the category of combat aircraft. They are therefore covered by the recently agreed Arms Trade Treaty. This will only come into force when sufficient states have ratified it.
This is somewhat reassuring in view of the real danger of such weapon systems multiplying all around the world.
UAV’s come in all shapes and sizes. In this country they may invade personal privacy. Their control and regulation is complicated since four or five separate government departments may be involved. Big Brother Watch and Privacy International are therelevant NGOs.