Yemeni medics prepare a prosthetic limb before handing it out to a disabled man of conflict victims (L) at a prosthetic center in Sana’a, Yemen. Anti-arms campaigners say British weapons could be used for repression in Yemen [Image: Yahya Arhab/EPA].

Arms sales from the UK have not been subject to independent scrutiny for more than nine months after the mysterious disappearance of the Commons watchdog on the export of weapons and military equipment.

MPs have begun to raise concerns about the fate of the committee on arms export controls, which was not re-established at the beginning of this parliament last May.

The watchdog ceased its work after its chair Sir John Stanley retired in March following 15 years at the helm. The committee had been instrumental in embarrassing the coalition government over its decision to allow the sale of chemicals that could have been used for nerve agent weapons in Syria.

MPs and campaigners are anxious that there is scrutiny over the government’s decision to continue allowing arms exports to Saudi Arabia when there are human rights concerns about the weapons’ possible use for repression in Yemen.

Source: UK arms exports escape scrutiny under Tory government | World news | The Guardian

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