Britain Resumes Arms Sales to Saudis

UK government had sanctioned Saudis just the day prior

Once again reflecting Saudi Arabia’s remarkable ability to ensure that the rules don’t apply to them, the British government announced Tuesday that they are resuming weapons sales to the Saudi kingdom, just one day after announcing sanctions against them.

The British Court of Appeals had previously blocked arms sales because there had not been any risk assessment for Saudi war crimes committed with those weapons. The Trade Secretary, today, argued sales could resume because they concluded that the Saudis only sometimes violate international humanitarian law with their arms.

British officials are content that this is all the oversight the Saudi sales needed or shall receive. It will be easy, then, to continue thed sales despite sanctions on individuals involved in the Khashoggi murders.

Opposition officials criticized the move, saying it undercut British claims to be a human rights defender. While that’s a problem the world over, those concerns tend to fall away when the cash-rich Saudis are buying.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.