Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to her Written Statement of 7 July 2020 on Trade Update, what the threshold is at which the Government would assess the number of incidents violating International Humanitarian Law as unacceptable in the licensing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, regardless of whether they constituted a pattern; and what the basis is for the level of that threshold.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

All licence applications are considered on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

Specifically, Criterion 2c makes sure that we do not grant licences if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law. My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade set out in her Written Ministerial Statement of 7th July how she has fully considered Criterion 2c in relation to the re-taking of the licensing decisions, in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

HM Government is able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, and this is done in line with the Consolidated Criteria.

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