Smith, Andrew

Andrew Smith
1 December 2019News

More licences granted for military equipment to Saudi-led coalition

On 26 September, the secretary of state for international trade, Liz Truss, told parliament that the government breached a court of appeal ruling by granting further licences for military equipment to the Saudi-led coalition for use in Yemen.

This followed revelations the previous week that the government had breached the ruling on at least two occasions.

We are always being told how rigorous and robust arms export controls supposedly are, but this shows that nothing…

1 August 2018News

British government acted 'irrationally and unlawfully' in allowing arms exports for use in Yemen

CAAT supporters celebrate, Court of Appeal, London, 20 June. Photo: Darren Johnson

The public and press benches were absolutely full on the morning of 20 June, when the court of appeal in London ruled that the British government had acted ‘irrationally and unlawfully’ in allowing UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.

The ruling means that the government must not allow future sales to the Saudi-led forces that are at war in Yemen, and that it must review existing…

1 October 2017News

Campaigners blocked the set-up of the London DSEI weapons fest

Die-in at DSEI arms fair, East London. PHOTO: Diana More.

Over the course of seven days in early September, thousands of activists from across the country descended on East London in a vibrant and colourful show of strength, solidarity and unity – to try to stop the set-up of the terrible DSEI arms fair.

Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) is one of the biggest arms fairs in the world. This year, it brought 1,600 arms companies to London and put them together…

1 April 2017News

Campaigners challenge British complicity in Yemen carnage

Airstrike in Sana’a, Yemen, 11 May 2015. Photo: Ibrahem Qasim (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

26 March marked two years since the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen began. Since then, 10,000 people have been killed and millions have been left without access to vital infrastructure, clean water or electricity. An estimated 17 million people are food-insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance

For decades now, Saudi Arabia has been by far the largest buyer of UK arms. The…

1 December 2016News

High Court to scrutinise UK arms exports

On 11 July, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) handed in a petition to Downing Street, London, against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Photo: CAAT

‘No one questions that these people are terrorists, but their presence in that city cannot justify an assault on 275,000 innocent people, still less the imposition of a siege, which is, by its very nature, a wholly indiscriminate tactic.’

These were the words of British foreign secretary Boris Johnson during a speech in which he…

1 August 2016News

3-day investigation to take place next February

The high court was silent on 30 June when judge Andrew Gilbart announced that he would be granting a judicial review into the legality of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It was only decorum and tradition that stopped us from cheering or breathing a big sigh of relief.

Our claim calls on the secretary of state for business, innovation & skills to suspend all current licences – and to stop issuing any more arms export licences to Saudi Arabia for weapons which could be used in…

31 March 2015Feature

A report from this year’s Campaign Against Arms Trade national gathering


CAAT national gathering at Conway Hall,
London, 21 March 2015 Photo: CAAT

One of the most powerful speeches at the CAAT national gathering this year came from Sayed Alwadaei, a Bahraini activist who was imprisoned for taking part in pro-democracy demonstrations and then had his citizenship revoked in Bahrain.

Sayed reminded us of the terrible human cost of the arms trade, and the impact that those of us campaigning over here can have. ‘Your action gives Bahrainis a…