Massive arms sales to Saudi show it's time to put human rights above profit

January 20, 2016 10:27 AM

According to Amnesty International the UK government sold 1 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia in just three months despite widespread human rights violations in Yemen.

The figures - published in the Strategic Export Controls (1 July-30 September 2015) report - show that during this period 49 export licences were granted (with none refused), with a total value of £1,080,855,244. Overwhelmingly - to a value of £1,066,216,510 - this was made up of five export licences for large consignments of bombs and other munitions.

Commenting on the news Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

"The Government is putting profit before everything else, including human rights and regional stability.

"We should be world leader in human rights and not a world leader in arms sales to unsavoury regimes.

"Britain deserves better. There is strong evidence that these British weapons are being used against civilians in Yemen, which breaks international law. All arms contracts with Saudi Arabia should be suspended until there is firm, open proof that no laws have been broken and any new contracts should be signed of by the Defence Secretary for approval."