What's Happening in Parliament


On Wednesday, 19th of October 2016, Angus Robertson asked the Prime Minister on recent bombings in Yemen, using missiles manufactured in the UK, specifically Scotland

Details of the debate are below:

Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP)
I join the Prime Minister and the leader of the Labour party in remembering the Aberfan disaster. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by that.
Thousands of innocent civilians have now been killed by Saudi air strikes in Yemen. Can the Prime Minister assure the House that those civilians have not been killed by Paveway IV missiles partially manufactured in Scotland that are under licence from her Government to Saudi Arabia?

The Prime Minister
First, may I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his election as deputy leader of the Scottish National party?
As the right hon. Gentleman knows, we have one of the toughest regimes in the world in relation to arms exports. When allegations arise, we press—I have pressed in the past and my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has pressed—the Saudi Arabia Government to properly investigate the issues and to learn lessons from them.

Angus Robertson
I thank the Prime Minister for her kind wishes but, to return to the subject of my question, it is beyond doubt that Saudi air forces are bombing Yemen. Planes made in Britain are being flown by pilots who were trained by Britain and dropping missiles that are made in Britain. I asked her a direct question and she could not answer it, so I will try a second time. Can she give the House an assurance that civilians have not been killed by Paveway IV bombs being dropped on Yemen that are partially manufactured in Scotland under license by her Government? If she does not know the answer to that question, how can she possibly, in good conscience, continue selling them to Saudi Arabia?

The Prime Minister
In response to the right hon. Gentleman, the point that I made was very simple: we press for proper investigations into what has happened in those incidents before we reach a decision or a conclusion. We have a very strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, which is important for this country in terms of dealing with counter-terrorism and a number of other issues, but what matters, when incidents happen about which there is concern, is that they are properly investigated.