Uk Relations: Saudi Arabia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 12:49 pm, 7th March 2018

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that matter. The purpose of parliamentary visits, in which many Members engage, is to get an opportunity to see the context of a country. It is not about being given a grand tour of easy options, but about getting the chance to ask difficult questions. In my experience, Members of Parliament take that opportunity fully. To be able to observe, as my hon. Friend has, some of the palpable changes in where women are going and to speak to women now involved in culture, music and business, is to see where the country intends to take itself, and a woman’s voice in where it is going is an important one and increasingly heard.