International Trade Secretary Apologises For Saudi Military Sales

Posted on September 17, 2019

Ministers promised to stop approving shipments in June after a challenge by campaigners at the Court of Appeal.
Liz Truss said the granting of licences for £435,000 of radio spares and a £200 air cooler for the Royal Saudi Land Forces had been “inadvertent”.
An internal inquiry is taking place.
In a letter to the Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls, Ms Truss said routine analysis of statistics found a licence for the air cooler for a Renault Sherpa Light Scout vehicle had been issued just days after the ruling.
And a licence for the export of 260 items of radio spares had been issued in July. To date, the letter said, 180 items from that order – with a value of £261,450 – had been shipped.
Ms Truss said: “I have apologised to the court unreservedly for the error in granting these two licences.”
Government lawyers had informed the court of the “breaches of the undertaking given”, she added.
She said the internal investigation had been launched to establish whether other licences had been issued against the assurances to the court or Parliament, and to ensure there could be no further breaches.

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