UK Minister Apologises for ‘Accidentally’ Approving Illegal Sale of Military Equipment to Saudi Arabia

The UK Government has broken a court ruling banning them from granting licences to export weapons and equipment to Saudi Arabia.

The international Trade Secretary Liz Truss has apologised, saying her department had “inadvertently” granted two licences in breach of a High Court ruling in June.

The Government believes more than £250,000 worth of radio spares had been shipped to troops deployed in the civil war in Yemen.

Further licences identified by the department as being in breach of the ruling include a £200 cooling fan, equipment to tackle roadside bombs.

A further licence, for £5,000 worth of radar components, has been revoked because officials concluded it “might be used in the conflict in Yemen.”

Truss also told the court about two other licences that have not breached the ruling, but which are “inconsistent with the broader commitment” made by the government not to grant licences for any equipment that could be used in the Yemen conflict.

It was approved on the basis the Royal Saudi Land Force was not operating in Yemen, however the Foreign Office was later informed by the British Embassy in Riyadh that RSLF troops were deployed in Yemen, she said.

Liz Truss, is facing calls to resign after admitting the government breached a court order  banning the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

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