Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Government's policy is on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Photo of Janet Daby Janet Daby Labour, Lewisham East

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will make it her policy to suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Photo of Graham Stuart Graham Stuart Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

All arms sales are subject to export licensing. The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, last updated in a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2014, remains the policy for assessing all licence applications.

The Court of Appeal judgment of 20 June 2019 placed the Government under an obligation not to grant any new licences to export items to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen. The Court remitted the decision whether to grant export licences for the sale or transfer of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen to the Secretary of State for International Trade to re-take on the correct legal basis.

Work is underway on the process of retaking decisions in accordance with the Order of the Court of Appeal.

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