On 19 February, the BBC News reported that UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "deeply concerned" by the "unacceptable violence" used against protesters. On 18 February, the UK government had announced that in light of the unrest it was considering revoking some arms export licenses stating that "licenses will not be issued when officials judge that there is a risk that the exports may provoke regional or internal conflicts or be used to facilitate internal repression". On 4 June, the UK Foreign Secretary advised any Britons still in Yemen to leave immediately while commercial flights are still in operation, as the UK Government cannot guarantee evacuation under the circumstances. However on 6 June it was reported that UK Royal Navy forces are on standby off the coast of Yemen to assist with any possible evacuation. Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama urged Saleh to resign in a joint press conference on 25 May.
The early links with Britain had led to Yemeni immigrants forming some of the oldest Muslim communities in the UK - particularly in the port areas of Liverpool, South Shields and Cardiff. With Aden being the main refuelling stop for ships between Britain and the Far East, many of the seamen went to the UK to work and then settled.