UK’s Gulf Strategy

This is an issue of grave concern to the SNP and our MPs have been extremely active in challenging the UK Government on these matters.


Only limited details on the Gulf Strategy Integrated Delivery Unit have been made public, following pressure and written questions by SNP MPs. You can read the answer from the UK Government to a written question from my SNP colleague Margaret Ferrier MP – in which they outline the remit, staffing and cost of their Delivery Unit – here:


As you will note, this does not address a great many of your concerns, especially arms exports. The SNP share those concerns and have challenged the UK Government on numerous occasions in recent times, particularly on arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the context of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen. On that point, the SNP have urged the UK Government to accept the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry on the use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen, released on 15 September and which stated the following:


“In the case of Yemen, it is clear to us that the arms export licensing regime has not worked. We recommend that the UK suspend licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia, capable of being used in Yemen, pending the results of an independent, United Nations-led inquiry into reports of violations of IHL, and issue no further licences.”


On this basis, in a debate on the House of Commons in October, several SNP MPs called for an immediate end to UK sales of arms to Saudi Arabia. It remains our position that unless and until it can be confirmed categorically that these weapons are not being used on civilians, we should not be selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, during the same debate, Brendan O’Hara MP called for immediate clarification as to the role of UK military personnel integrated within the Saudi military operation and Martin Docherty-Hughes called for a root-and-branch review of the UK-Saudi relationship.


The SNP will continue to press the UK Government in the House of Commons and elsewhere.