Arms Trade

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Beyond: The Rampant Hypocrisy Behind UK Foreign Policy

Andrew Smith | Posted 14.04.2016 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

How can it be the case that peaceful protesters and campaigners are arrested for blocking a road, yet regimes that systematically oppress their own citizens and kill others in wars of aggression are given the red carpet treatment and plied with weapons?

Five Years on From the Uprising, the UK Is Still Fuelling Oppression in Bahrain

Andrew Smith | Posted 06.03.2016 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Last month made it five years since activists across Bahrain rose up against the authoritarian Al-Khalifa regime. Their protests followed the Arab Spring movements that had taken off across the Middle East and represented a peaceful call for human rights and democracy.

The Government's Proposal to Ban Ethical Boycotts Is an Attack on Local Democracy

Andrew Smith | Posted 16.02.2016 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

The government may talk about its support for local decision making and devolution, but, its latest move, to ban councils, public bodies and student unions across England from boycotting unethical companies, flies in the face of its rhetoric.

Arming Saudi Arabia: Philip Hammond at the Controls

Neil Durkin | Posted 28.01.2016 | UK Politics
Neil Durkin

Maybe we shouldn't fret. As with the old reggae producers (King Tubby et al), we've apparently got our top people in the control room when it comes to the Saudi-Yemen onslaught (Philip Hammond, you might say, is "at the controls"). No, let's stop worrying and learn to love the bombing campaign in Yemen. Now repeat after me, "We have some of the most stringent export controls ...".

Why Campaigners Are Threatening Legal Action to Stop UK Arms Exports to Saudi

Andrew Smith | Posted 22.01.2016 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Countries like Saudi Arabia aren't just buying UK arms, they are also buying political support and very often silence about the human rights abuses they preside over. Changing this will take more than the cancellation of a few licences. It will need a complete overhaul of government foreign policy and an end to the hypocrisy at the heart of it.

It's Time to Support Legal Action to Stop Arming Saudi Arabia

James Crawley | Posted 08.01.2016 | UK Politics
James Crawley

As UK citizens it's important we stand in solidarity with CAAT's legal action, lending our signatures to their online petition, and lobbying our MPs to take a stand in the commons. It is clear, now more than ever, that the UK has to review this destructive trade relationship. It's time for the UK to #StopArmingSaudi.

British Bombs Will Not Solve the Syrian Crisis

Andrew Smith | Posted 27.11.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Air strikes would be nothing new, the US, France, and more recently Russia, have been bombing Syria for months. The rhetoric may be about freedom for Syrians, but the air strikes have fuelled the ongoing civil war and exacerbated the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding on the ground.

Philip Hammond: I Want Us To Sell More Weapons To Saudi Arabia

The Huffington Post UK | Owen Bennett | Posted 10.11.2015 | UK Politics

Philip Hammond wants more UK trade with Saudi Arabia, despite calling for a “proper investigation” into claims of breaches of international humani...

UK Turns Back on UN Protection of Civilians

Thomas Nash | Posted 30.10.2015 | UK
Thomas Nash

The UK is set to break with a 15-year tradition by refusing to hold an open debate on the protection of civilians during its presidency of the UN Secu...

If Jeremy Corbyn is Offending the Saudi Regime Then he's Doing Something Right

Andrew Smith | Posted 28.10.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Corbyn should take the Ambassador's comments as a badge of honour and a sign that he's doing the right thing. However, it will take the words and actions of people from across all parties and wider society if the UK is to finally change its policy and end its support for the oppressive and authoritarian House of Saud.

The UK Establishment Always Bows to Saudi Arabia - as I Know From Experience

Symon Hill | Posted 13.10.2015 | UK Politics
Symon Hill

According to news reports, David Cameron has cancelled a deal to supply prison services to Saudi Arabia. Frankly, I don't believe it. At least, I don't believe that Cameron has stood up to the Saudi regime. If the prison deal has been cancelled, I am sure the Saudis have been offered something else instead.

Bombing Islamic State, But Refusing Europe's Refugees: The UK Prefers Weaponry to Refuge

Neil Durkin | Posted 23.09.2015 | UK Politics
Neil Durkin

If the UK's airstrikes on Syrian targets lead to civilian deaths, panic and further refugee flows, who will be expected to look after those new refugees? Not Britain, presumably.

Corbyn Should Stick to His Guns on Defence Policy

Symon Hill | Posted 21.09.2015 | UK Politics
Symon Hill

Life's been rather scary over the last week, as David Cameron has warned that Labour's new leadership poses a threat to "our nation's security, our economic security and your family's security"...

The UK Says It Is a Global Humanitarian Leader, So Why Won't It Condemn Banned Weapons?

Thomas Nash | Posted 17.09.2015 | UK
Thomas Nash

The UK's attempt to justify its refusal to condemn cluster munition use on the basis of article 21 was not founded in legal analysis, but in political desperation. Although the UK argued that the language of the Dubrovnik outcome documents should be changed, states parties to the ban treaty rightly rejected the UK's objection and collectively issued an emphatic condemnation of use.

Disarming DSEI: Arms Dealers And Despots Descend on London

Andrew Smith | Posted 02.09.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

It's less than two week until one of the world's biggest arms fairs, Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), rolls into London. The biennial event (taking place 15-18 September) will bring thousands of arms companies representatives together with mercenaries, generals and military delegations from some of the worst dictatorships in the world.

UK Arms Export Controls Are Broken and the Consequences Are Deadly

Andrew Smith | Posted 03.08.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

When countries like the UK sell weapons it doesn't just facilitate the attacks they are used in, it also sends a message of support to the governments that are carrying them out. For this to change it will require more than a few platitudes about human rights. It will need a complete overhaul of government priorities and an end to the hypocrisy that is at the heart of foreign policy.

One Year on From Gaza: The UK Must Stop Arming Israel

Andrew Smith | Posted 03.07.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

The issue goes beyond the immediate humanitarian impact. When the UK sells weapons it not only facilitates future attacks, it also signals approval for the Israeli government and its pursuit of what amounts to the collective punishment and oppression of the people of Gaza.

The UK is Complicit in the Destruction of Yemen

Andrew Smith | Posted 29.05.2015 | UK
Andrew Smith

The bombardment has been supported by the US and the UK, with both governments giving political and military support to the Saudi regime.

UK Military Spending Should Be Cut, Regardless of Who Wins in May

Andrew Smith | Posted 09.06.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Despite recent cuts, at £37 billion the UK military budget is still far higher than in a number of much bigger countries, such as Brazil or India. It also represents a far higher percentage of national GDP than any other European country and almost all NATO members.

Should Britain Be Arming Ukraine?

Iain Overton | Posted 12.05.2015 | UK Politics
Iain Overton

Before we throw weapons at the Ukrainian crisis, we need to ask two fundamental questions: does Ukraine really need our arms?  And what would happen to them once the violence ended?

UK Arms Exports Support State Repression

Andrew Smith | Posted 09.05.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Far from keeping us secure, events like this only strengthen the UK's ties to brutal dictatorships and entrench the government's role as a global arms seller. Furthermore, they undermine the UK's political credibility on human rights and strengthen the position of repressive regimes.

King Abdullah and the UK: When Arms Sales Trump Human Rights

Andrew Smith | Posted 28.03.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Many of the gushing tributes to King Abdullah have painted him as a man of peace and a force for good. In reality he was the figurehead of one of the most violent and oppressive governments in the world.

How Arms Companies Fuelled and Exacerbated the First World War

Andrew Smith | Posted 09.02.2015 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

By the end, 16million people had been killed and 20million wounded in a war that had devastated and destroyed whole cities. Civilians and soldiers, often from poor backgrounds, paid the terrible price for a battle that was brought on by the rich and powerful rulers of competing imperialist powers...Very few benefited from the killing. It did, however, line the pockets of arms companies and their shareholders.

An Urgent Appeal On Behalf Of Arms Dealers

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 12.11.2014 | UK Comedy

War. Repression. Do you care about these things? These people do. Watch our charity appeal on behalf of arms dealers everywhere, created by David S...

Human Rights Are Not for Sale: Why the UK Must Stop Arming Bahrain

Andrew Smith | Posted 17.12.2014 | UK Politics
Andrew Smith

Arms sales are not apolitical acts. On one hand, they bolster the buyers by giving them a British endorsement as a fig-leaf of respectability, but they also buy the UK government's political support and compliance. As the crackdown continues to escalate it is becoming increasingly clear that decisions being made in support of arms sales are having serious consequences for the victims of state repression.