Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Government guilty on loosening Saudi arms controls

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called on the government to re-introduce tough restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia that he imposed as Business Secretary in the coalition government. An Oxfam campaign against arm sales to Saudi Arabia has just won the support of a group of prominent individuals including Ian McEwan, Bill Nighy and Coldplay. This follows reports that Britain has sold nearly £4bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since it began its bombing campaign in Yemen.

Vince Cable said:

“I fully support this initiative by Oxfam. There can be no justification for the continued selling of arms to Saudi Arabia.

“The issue first arose in the closing days of the coalition, and I made any further arms sales to Saudi Arabia contingent on the most stringent conditions. These conditions are no longer being met. I call for a complete cessation of arms sales given the situation in Yemen.

“The UN has just appointed independent investigators to look into human rights abuses there. Outside powers should be doing all they can to reduce the death toll, not increase it.”

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