Yemen: Humanitarian and Political Situation - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:48 pm on 20th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Hannay of Chiswick Crossbench 5:48 pm, 20th November 2017

My Lords, I am sure that the noble Lord is aware that, even at the height of the tension between the international community and Iraq, food and medicine were never cut off. Surely this point should be made forcefully to the Saudi Government. It is no good saying that they are cutting it off in order to make sure that no missiles are shipped in. Frankly, that is not very convincing. Will the Minister look again at the recommendation that the International Relations Committee of this House made in its report in April: namely, that it might be necessary to tell the Saudi Government very quietly—not noisily, but quietly—that if they do not play a more helpful role in this conflict, we will have to consider cutting off some of the licences we currently have? Could he please take that back and look at it again? It was a very serious recommendation; it was not a recommendation to stop all arms sales to Saudi, which would be quite unrealistic. Could he look at that again, because I think the circumstances are such that we cannot just go on wringing our hands? The Statement made all the right remarks—but none of it is happening.