Thank you for writing about military exports to Saudi Arabia and the crisis in Yemen.
In accordance with the Court of Appeal's judgement in June 2019, the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, has now retaken licensing decisions regarding military exports to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen on the correct legal basis.
Export licences are not granted when there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. The protection of civilians is the cornerstone of International Humanitarian Law.
I have been assured that each application is carefully assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, and that a licence will not be granted if to do so would be a breach of the criteria. A range of sources are used when making assessments including NGOs, international organisations and our diplomatic posts overseas. Licences may also be reviewed, suspended and revoked where necessary.
Regarding Yemen, I am deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis. I fully support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Envoy's call for all parties to engage in urgent political talks and de-escalate the conflict.
UK support to Yemen since the beginning of the conflict now totals nearly £1 billion, and I strongly welcome the Government’s announcement of a £160 million aid package to support Yemen’s health services in the fight against Coronavirus and to prevent a worsening of the humanitarian crisis.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/latestworld_locations%5B%5D=yemen
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this ongoing situation very carefully indeed.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking