Yemen

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:56 pm on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:56 pm, 21st November 2018

I completely understand why the hon. Gentleman asks that question, but may I gently say to him that if we did as he is proposing, he needs to ask how that would help people who are starving in Yemen today? Their situation is absolutely desperate, but far from helping them, there would have been no visit by the UK Foreign Secretary to Saudi Arabia last week, no opportunity to have a frank and sometimes difficult conversation with the Crown Prince, no trip to Tehran—because Iran’s reason for talking to us is that we have a relationship with the Saudis—and no support across the table for a Security Council resolution. British influence, far from being able to bring both sides together, would reduce to zero. That is why the right thing for us to do on arms sales is to follow the incredibly strict arms control regime introduced by a Labour Government in 2000—one of the strictest in the world—which has objective measures to make sure that we do not export arms to places where there is a high risk of violations of international humanitarian law.