Tuesday 7 July 2020 / 4:14 PM Emily Thornberry / International Trade

Govt resumes sale of arms to Saudi Arabia – Thornberry responds

Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s Shadow International Trade Secretary, responding to the Government’s decision to dismiss last year’s Appeal Court ruling and resume the sale of arms to the Saudi-led coalition for use in the war in Yemen, said:

“Even by this Government’s standards, their decision to resume the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen is morally indefensible, justified on the basis that the air strikes that have killed thousands of innocent men, women and children over the past five years somehow do not represent a ‘pattern of non-compliance’ with international law.

“And announcing this decision the very day after 20 Saudi officials were rightly placed on the Foreign Office’s Magnitsky sanctions list for their part in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist killed in part for criticising Saudi conduct in the war in Yemen, is at the very least a case of mixed messages, undermining the government’s claim to be human rights defenders.

“We have demanded that ministers come to Parliament to explain this decision, and we will continue to fight it over the coming months. Because at a time when millions of Yemeni children are facing the mortal threat of starvation and disease, Britain should be working flat out to bring this terrible war to an end, not selling the arms that continue to fuel it.”