The UK and Saudi Arabia announced plans for a £100 million deal yesterday – and it’s already has been branded a ‘national disgrace’. Government ministers signed the agreement with Saudi Arabia to coincide with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to London. 180 troops called in as Sergei Skripal attempted murder investigation grows Theresa May’s government claimed the deal will create a ‘new long-term partnership’ to improve livelihoods and infrastructure in the world’s poorest countries. However, opposition MPs and people in the aid sector have slammed the deal due to Saudi Arabia’s ongoing military operations in war-torn famine hit Yemen, the Guardian reported. Kate Osamor MP, the shadow international development secretary, said: ‘Over 22 million Yemeni lives depend on permanent, full access for aid, food and fuel in Yemen. The UK government and Saudi Arabian ministers held in depth talks this week. ‘Instead, she has won no concessions and simply handed on a plate to Saudi Arabia a new humanitarian partnership and an endorsement from the Department for International Development, the world’s best aid agency. ‘It will whitewash Saudi Arabia’s reputation and role in the war, and it is a national disgrace.’ Labour Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden tweeted: ‘Before signing any humanitarian partnership with Saudi Arabia the UK Government should have insisted on a full resolution to the Saudi-caused humanitarian crisis in Yemen. It is unforgivable that they chose not to.’ Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch executive director, added: ‘£100m is a small price for Saudi Arabia to pay to whitewash its reputation as it bombs and starves Yemeni civilians.’ The deal will see Britain’s DfID and the Saudi Fund for Development work together to build infrastructure in drought and conflict-stricken countries. Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, said: ‘The Saudi Fund has a long record of investing in successful development projects around the world.
Saudi Arabia is close to agreeing a deal to buy 48 Typhoon jets from BAE Systems
‘We are sharing the best of British expertise, and our collective efforts will help create jobs and livelihoods to support the poorest people to stand on their own two feet. ‘This in turn will help to boost global prosperity, which is in all of our interests.’ During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman three day visit to the UK he visited Downing Street, met the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Trade agreements worth £65 billion had been signed including a memorandum of intent to finalise discussions on a deal for Saudi Arabia to buy 48 Typhoon jets from BAE Systems.