Arms Export Licences (Saudi Arabia)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:24 am on 26th September 2019.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities 11:24 am, 26th September 2019

My right hon. Friend makes an important point, but the topic of today’s question is the following of procedures in the consolidated criteria. The consolidated criteria are right; they are a good way to make sure that we issue export licences to the right parties. The problem here is specifically whether that process was followed correctly within Government and whether information was shared between Government Departments. That is the issue we have identified. I have taken immediate steps to ensure that information is properly shared when those decisions are taken, and to investigate what went wrong, but of course I take full responsibility as Secretary of State, and I have made an unreserved apology both to the Court and to Parliament.