Raising an issue in person can be one of the most powerful ways to influence your MP. The UK has a vital lifesaving role to play with regard to Yemen, where 22.2 million people (80% of the population) now need humanitarian assistance - we need MPs calling for Britain to act.
This is a UK issue. On the Security Council, the UK is the 'lead' country for Yemen. It also has close bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia - the country that is leading military action against Yemen's Houthi rebels and is, according to the UN, responsible for the majority of civilian deaths. The UK must build support for a new Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire, and use its influence with Saudi Arabia to press them to adhere to it.
This is not about quick, easy action. We want to support you to engage in productive conversations with your local representatives which is why we have provided you with our list of 'asks' to Government, and information on how to contact your MP. At the end of the page there is a form so you can let us know how you got on. Please help us spread the word by sharing this page widely.
Key asks - what to include
- OUR PRORITY ACTION: Over 80 MPs have already written to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary calling for them to make a statement condemning any further Saudi-led military attacks on the port of Hudaydah in Yemen - an aid lifeline for millions of people. UNA-UK’s supporters have already helped persuade over 30 MPs to sign the letter. To find out if your MP has signed the letter, click here. If they haven’t, please help us reach our target of 100 by asking your MP to sign. Here’s some language written by one of our local campaigners to help you. Please feel free to adapt it to make it more personal to you.
- Security Council action for ceasefire and peace process with no preconditions - As Council lead on Yemen, the UK should urgently table a new resolution calling for all parties to the Yemen conflict to immediately implement a ceasefire and enter into peace talks without preconditions
- Bilateral efforts with Saudi Arabia for peace - UK should use its close relationship with Saudi Arabia to urge them to support a ceasefire, enter into peace talks without preconditions and refrain from any actions which may restrict humanitarian or commercial supplies to Yemen
- Suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia - The UK should not be arming any of the parties to this conflict, all of whom are responsible for “widespread violations of international humanitarian law” according to the UN, with the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the majority of civilian casualties. The UK should immediately suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia and support an independent international inquiry into violations by all parties to the conflict.
Meet your MP
- Find out who your MP is by typing your postcode in at www.theyworkforyou.com
- Find their profile page by clicking on their listing via www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
- Either browse their personal website and hunt for their next drop-in surgery, or phone their constituency office using the number on the profile page/personal website to ask for an appointment.
- In preparation for your meeting: read UNA-UK's humanitarian briefing and write down UNA-UK's key asks (above) Please contact us if you would like us to put you in contact with our volunteer coordinator who can help.
- Try to visit your MP in a group, with one person leading the conversation. Ask other UNA members and concerned members from other groups such as Amnesty to join you.
- During the meeting: introduce yourself, be respectful and polite, explain why the issue matters to you, and talk through UNA-UK's key asks.
Ask your MP to take action on your behalf:
(1) by signing the MPs letter to the Prime Minister on Hodeidah
(2) by her/him writing a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
(3) by her/him speaking to the Secretary of State in person
(4) by her/him raising your concerns as oral and written questions in parliament.
- It’s always best to present your MP with a short document setting out key facts and your ‘asks’, but remember that MPs are busy people and you may get as little as 10 minutes with them. So keep your list of ‘asks’ short. Remember to put the priority action on the aid lifeline port of Hodaydah at the top of your list.
- Ask your MP to keep in regular contact and to give you copies of any responses they receive.
- Once you've had your meeting, please tell us how you got on
- Consider Becoming a UNA Constituency Coordinator to lead members in lobbying your MP.