The Gulf — [Mr David Nuttall in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:50 am on 4th May 2016.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice) 9:50 am, 4th May 2016

I will speak for half a minute on Yemen and then sit down, Mr Nuttall. I will just say, however, that I have been in Westminster Hall when Conservative Members have filibustered for an hour in order to prevent debates from taking place on issues of great importance to me. I do not intend to do that here. I do not think that a 10-minute speech for an Opposition Member is unreasonable, given the number of Government Members present.

Let me end by saying this. The Minister will be aware of the Select Committee on International Development report published today in relation to the need for an independent inquiry into what is happening in Yemen. UAE and Saudi forces are engaged, with British advice and support, in the civil war in Yemen. It is clear to anybody who reads what is written by those reporting from inside that troubled country that war crimes are being committed and that there are breaches of international humanitarian law. Will the Minister agree to the Committee’s recommendation of an independent investigation into what is happening in Yemen?

It is my view that we should have a suspension of arms sales to the countries engaged in that civil war, until it is demonstrated that breaches of international law are not happening. This country should not be complicit in matters of that kind and should certainly be asking for transparency in relation to what is happening in Yemen and in particular the involvement of other Gulf states in that country.