I know the Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available.
These Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require the Government to consider possible impacts of providing equipment and its capabilities.
Licence decisions take account of prevailing circumstances at the time of application and include human rights and international humanitarian law considerations. I understand the Government will not issue export licences where there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.
In addition, the Government can attach conditions to licences, and in line with the Consolidated Criteria, it can review licences and suspend or revoke as necessary when circumstances require.
You may be interested to know that quarterly and annual statistics on all export licensing decisions are published on Gov.uk, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. These are available at the following address:
However, I fully appreciate the concerns raised about military exports to Saudi Arabia. I want to reassure you that in accordance with the Court of Appeal's judgment in June 2019, the Secretary of State for International Trade has now retaken licensing decisions regarding military exports to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen on the correct legal basis.
Export licences are not granted when there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. The protection of civilians is the cornerstone of International Humanitarian Law.
I have been assured that each application will be carefully assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and that a licence will not be granted if to do so would be a breach of the criteria.
Regarding Yemen, I am deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis. I fully support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Envoy's call for all parties to engage in urgent political talks and de-escalate the conflict. A political settlement is crucial to bringing long-term stability to Yemen and to addressing the worsening humanitarian crisis.
The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen providing at least £87 million in aid this year and over £1 billion since the start of the conflict.
Moreover, in relation to military exports to Israel, the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria remains the basis for assessing all licence applications on a case-by-case basis. I can assure you that the Government will not grant an export licence if doing so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria. This requires the Government to assess licensing equipment and its capabilities.
Finally, I take the UK's arms exports to all countries, including Turkey, extremely seriously. I can assure you that our defence exports are kept under careful and continual review. If licences are no longer consistent with the Consolidated Criteria against which arms exports are judged, they will be revoked. Any targeting of civilians is a violation of International Humanitarian Law.