COMMONS

Committee Reports on use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen

15 September 2016

Statement from Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chairman of the Defence Committee

"Today, three of the four Committees which constitute the Committees on Arms Export Controls—Business, Innovation and Skills, International Development and Foreign Affairs—have published two opposing Reports on the use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen.

If the work of the Committees on Arms Export Controls is to be successful, it must proceed on the basis on consensus. This did not happen in the case of this inquiry, where a Report was drafted without the customary process of circulating themes, conclusions and recommendations in advance. Instead, a draft Report was produced which was then leaked. The leaking of that draft Report and the subsequent media controversy about the Committees' deliberations fatally undermined any possibility of the four Committees coming to an agreed position. This is evident in the differing and indeed contradictory conclusions contained in the Reports which have been published today.

Anticipating such an outcome, the Defence Committee agreed at its meeting on Tuesday 13 September that it would not be considering, endorsing or publishing the leaked Report."

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