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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 92734, tabled on 21 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 7 July 2020 HC entitled Trade Update, HCWS339, which Department’s officials were responsible for (a) developing the revised methodology used to analyse and evaluate allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law in Yemen, (b) conducting the analysis and evaluation of those allegations, and (c) making a submission to ministers on the conclusions, options and recommendations arising from that analysis and evaluation.

Answered on

24 September 2020

The revised methodology used to analyse and evaluate allegations of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) in Yemen was the result of cross-Whitehall work involving officials from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

MOD analyse the incidents they have recorded, which feeds into the overall assessment by FCDO of the risk that IHL has been breached.

The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’) set out that, in making licensing decisions, my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade 'will continue to take into account advice received from FCDO, MOD and other Government Departments and agencies as appropriate.'

FCDO leads on Criterion 2c, which concerns whether there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL. My Rt Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made a recommendation to the Secretary of State for International Trade for her to take account of in making the licensing decisions referred to in her Written Statement of 7th July 2020. Officials in FCDO and DIT submitted advice to their respective Ministers to support the decision-making process.

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