Published — 12 July, 2019

Saudi Arabia arms exports

Thank you for contacting me about arms exports.

I share your concerns regarding the plight the people of Gaza, but I do not believe that imposing a blanket arms embargo would resolve the situation.

The government takes its defence export responsibilities extremely seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications, including those for Saudi Arabia and Israel are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

These strict criteria take account of all prevailing circumstances at the time of application and includes human rights and international humanitarian law considerations. The government does not issue export licences where there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression, in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law or where the export would provoke or prolong conflict.

I am confident that by adhering to the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, the government will continue to ensure that UK arms exports are not used for internal repression, violating international humanitarian law or for provoking or prolonging conflict.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.