Blood money marks Britain as world’s second-largest arms exporter
Story Code : 808594
The latest figures from the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) revealed record defence orders worth 14 billion pounds ($17bn) in 2018, up from nine billion pounds ($11bn) in 2017 and the highest since 1983, with nearly 80% of the money filtering in from select Middle East Arab states embroiled in illegal wars against Yemen and Syria.
The data ranks the UK as the largest arms exporter in the world, after the US, with Russia and France coming in at third and fourth place, respectively.
‘Campaign Against Arms Trade’, CAAT, a UK-based organisation working to end the international arms trade, said the figures “exposed the rank hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy. The government claims to stand for human rights and democracy, but it is arming and supporting repressive regimes and dictatorships around the world.”
UK arms have been used in the Saudi-led war against the poorest country in the Arab world, Yemen.
Saudi Arabia – one of Britain's biggest arms purchasers and the leading weapons importer in the world – along with the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015.
In June, a UK court ruled that the British government broke the law by providing arms to Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen.
However, the court ruling still does not ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia but rather suspends the granting of new licenses.
The United Nations has described the five-year conflict as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, which has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine.
As the UK’s insatiable thirst for ever-more blood money grows with its designation as the world’s second-largest arms dealer, London has been found to be complicit in aiding and abetting murderous regimes across the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their illegal wars and suppression of dissent.