European Parliament vote in favour of arms embargo on Saudi Arabia

The European Parliament has today voted in favour of a Green report, challenging the Commission to introduce an embargo on arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The report also calls for a new process to sanction EU countries which do not comply with EU rules on arms exports.

The majority vote in favour of the report will be an embarrassment to the UK government which has supported billions of pounds worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The report also comes in a week that sees London play host to the world’s largest arms fair and shortly after a trade visit to Saudi Arabia by the prime minister.

During a debate on the report in the European Parliament, Molly challenged Conservative MEP Geoffrey van Orden over his views on arms sales, asking him whether he would vote for ‘an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia that are being used to kill Yemeni children.’

Molly said:

“Majority support for this report reiterates once again the crucial role the EU and European Parliament play in opposing violence and promoting peace. As our UK government hosts the world’s largest festival of violence, which they prefer to call an arms fair, MEPs are pledging to get tough on nations exporting these vile weapons to notorious regimes such as Saudi Arabia.

“The UK is one of the largest arms exporters in Europe and has consistently failed to comply with EU reporting obligations. Sadly, at a time when Europe is looking to crack down on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and sanction countries that fail to unhold the rules, the UK is set to leave the EU. And it is clear, that with a Tory government at the helm, arms manufacturers will continue to sell their weapons of death with impunity.”