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Hundreds of UK defence export applications held up over Saudi backlog

14th January 2021 - 09:15 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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Despite the UK's Export Control Joint Unit attempting to clear a licence application backlog, hundreds have been held up.

Up to 850 UK defence and security export licence applications have been put on hold as a result of the government attempting to clear a backlog caused by a freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The backlog built up between June 2019 and July 2020, covering the period when the Department for International Trade was directed to suspend new licences for arms exports to the Gulf state and coalition partners (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt), pending completion of a review into export licence decision-making processes.

That move followed the Court of Appeal upholding an appeal by the Campaign Against

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