Export Licensing: High Court Judgment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:47 pm on 10th July 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth 4:47 pm, 10th July 2017

The Secretary of State and the Government may have won this legal skirmish, but they certainly have not won the moral case and there are still many unanswered questions about the relationship and the terrible situation in Yemen. He said that he was confident, but the court judgment makes it clear that he was anxious. In fact, he wrote to the Foreign Secretary:

“I am concerned that the issue…continues to be finely balanced... I ask that you commission a further detailed assessment…and send me updated advice”,

and

“that you seek advice from” senior Government lawyers “before making your recommendation.”

Why was the International Trade Secretary anxious? Was it because of the civilian deaths, the use of cluster bombs or the attacks on humanitarian supplies in operations, including water and sanitation supplies that could have been so critical in preventing the cholera epidemic?