Saudi Arabia (Khashoggi)

Firstly, on the matter of arms sales, I know that the Government takes its defence export responsibilities extremely seriously, with one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. Export licensing to all destinations is kept under constant review, including in light of military action by the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen and indeed any implications that arise from the Khashoggi investigation. The Government will not issue an export licence where it assesses that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law and in July last year, the High Court ruled that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia were compliant with those regulations. 

The crisis in Yemen is severe. There are no easy solutions and I share your concerns regarding the plight of the Yemeni people who are caught up in the conflict. I am proud that the UK is leading the global response to this crisis in Yemen, as the fourth largest humanitarian donor to the country. In the last year, the UK contributed £170 million to famine relief and the UK also continues to work hard to achieve stability in the region, playing a leading role in diplomatic efforts to bring together the key international actors to try to find a peaceful solution. Peace talks and a political process are the UK's priority and the UK uses its relationship with Saudi Arabia to press for that. 

As you will know, we have an important strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, which has saved lives on the streets of Britain. We also have a trading partnership that supports thousands of jobs. However, if the appalling stories we are reading about the circumstances of the death of Jamal Khashoggi turn out to be true, then they are fundamentally incompatible with our values and I am pleased that the Foreign Secretary has assured the House of Commons that, in that event, the Government will act accordingly. 

The Government is already looking at responses to this incident and the Prime Minister has announced that we will be taking action against all suspects to prevent them from entering the UK, or to revoke any existing visas. The UK also chose not to send any minister or official to the Riyadh investment conference.