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9 September, 2016

Our campaigning is working: more and more MPs are speaking out against the UK’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

A leaked draft of a forthcoming report by Parliament’s Committees on Arms Export Controls suggests MPs are poised to call for an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has been using UK weapons against civilian targets in Yemen.

But as parliamentary pressure against the sales builds, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister is visiting Parliament today to personally lobby for the weapons sales to continue. His private briefing to MPs takes place just a few hours before the Committees meet to debate their final report – and seems carefully timed to influence that process.

We must increase the pressure now: please write to your MP. It takes just two minutes at

It is as urgent as ever that we stop the arms sales.

While MPs were away for the summer the Saudi-led bombing intensified, targeting schools and hospitals and forcing MSF to withdraw from health services in northern Yemen.

Last week the UN published a revised death toll, estimating that more than 10,000 people have now been killed in the conflict, with the majority of the deaths as a result of the Saudi-led attacks.

Our video with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty exposes how UK-made weapons have been used in attacks on civilians – including bombs made and sold after the conflict began.

Yet still the government has refused to act, ignoring its own rules that say it must not sell weapons where they might be used in violation of international law.

Boris Johnson insisted on Monday that the sales will continue. He said that Saudi Arabia is conducting its own investigations into allegations of violations of international humanitarian law arguing “they have the best insight into their own procedures and will be able to conduct the most thorough and conclusive investigations.”

But it is clearly not adequate to rely on the perpetrators to investigate themselves.

And there is already overwhelming evidence from independent sources of the devastation the bombing has caused.

In the leaked draft of their report, The Committees on Arms Export Controls say “the weight of evidence of violations of International Humanitarian Law by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is now so great that it is very difficult to continue to support Saudi Arabia while maintaining the credibility of our arms licensing regime” and that given the scale and the history of UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia, it “seems inevitable that any violations of International Law by the Saudi-led coalition would involve arms supplied by the UK.”

MPs need to speak out to make the government act. They must resist lobbying by the Saudi regime and the arms companies that are profiting from the destruction of Yemen. Please email your MP now.

Thank you for your support,

Sarah Waldron
Campaign Against Arms Trade

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