Arms Exports

Thank you for contacting me about arms exports especially those to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

I share your distress regarding the plight of all innocent people caught up in terrible conflicts, but I do not believe that imposing a blanket arms embargo would resolve these situations.

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 include 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.

Craig Whittaker MP

December 2018