On Wednesday, a debate was held in the House of Commons on a Labour motion for the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have been widely condemned for targeting civilians in Yemen, with one third of air-strikes hitting non-combatants.
The Tory government fought the motion. Hardly surprisingly, since it has completely abdicated its international obligations.
International treaties to which the UK is a signatory, as well as commitments under EU rules and the UK’s own regulations, say that arms export licences cannot be granted if there is a risk weapons will be used in a ‘serious violation of international humanitarian law’. Parliament is well aware that there is more than just a ‘risk’ of this in Yemen:
In spite of this, in a remarkable answer to a written Parliamentary question, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stated that it wasn’t the UK government’s business where and when the Saudis drop bombs…
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