Urgent Question on unlawful arms export licences to Saudi Arabia

26 September 2019

Chris Law MP asked the Secretary of State for International Trade if she will make a statement on the recent unlawful award of arms export licences to Saudi Arabia.

The awarding of arms export licences to Saudi Arabia was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal in June 2019.

Liz Truss MP, The Secretary of State for International Trade told MPs;

"My officials are continuing to review all the information relating to licences granted to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners since 20 June 2019 and we will be open and transparent with the court and Parliament as to any new issues that emerge.

In addition the Department for International Trade Permanent Secretary has commissioned on my behalf a full independent investigation.

This will establish the precise circumstances in which these licences were granted, establish whether any other licences have been granted in breach of the undertaking to the Court or contrary to the Parliamentary statement and confirm that procedures are in place so that no further breaches of the undertaking can occur."

Chris Law MP responded saying;

"This is not the result of a so-called inadvertent error, but of a shamefully incoherent foreign policy that has put profit ahead of upholding international humanitarian law."

The Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Barry Gardiner, responded on behalf of the Opposition;

"The Government did know, they just didn't tell the Secretary of State's Department. Which Department knew, which minister had the responsibility to tell the Secretary of State and why are they not sitting alongside her making an apology to Parliament?"

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