The [Parliamentary]committee [on Arms Export Control]is split into three factions and its constituent parts have released two reports [recall that arms export to Saudi Arabia was a Hugo Swire ministerial responsibility and he was accused of being ‘economical with the truth’ about the Foreign Office’s involvement in the deals and their ethical implications]:
“In a bizarre twist of parliamentary protocol, three competing cross-party factions on Committee on Arms Export Control (CAEC) are putting out two separate reports recommending different conflicting courses of action.
Members of the Business and International Development committees have banded together to recommend a harsher approach against the autocratic petro state. They want a ban on arms to Saudi until an international investigation into alleged war crimes by the autocracy during the course of its operation in Yemen has concluded.
The Foreign Affairs Committee faction, led by Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, however believes that the legality of the weapons sales should be left to the courts. Campaign Against the Arms Trade has already launched legal challenge, set to be heard in the coming months, meaning arms sales will continue for now. It also backs an international investigation and says arms export control should be more widely addressed.
Meanwhile a third group, MPs drawn from the Defence Committee, are understood to be in such deadlock themselves have backed neither report. The split within CAEC is so bitter than MPs have not even been able to agree to designate one of the reports a “minority” report, as would be the usual practice when MPs have disagreements.
But don’t worry it won’t make a difference because the UK government – that great believer in parliamentary democracy have said PARLIAMENT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON IT”