This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
BRITAIN sold over £20 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia during its war in Yemen, with the figure almost three times higher than the government’s records, anti-arms campaigners revealed today.
A new report by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) calculated that the sale figures of military equipment and services to the kingdom since 2015 by focusing on the use of open licences.
Open licences allow an unlimited quantity of arms to be exported without the total volume of exports or value of sales being reported.
According to BAE Systems’ annual reports, the country’s biggest arms company has sold £17.5bn worth of equipment and services to the Saudi Arabian military since the war in Yemen began, CAAT analysis found.
CAAT calculated that when added to the published value of bombs and missiles licensed using standard individual export licences, on which figures quoted for the value of export licences are usually based, the estimated total value of arms sales is £20.6bn.
The Department of International Trade (DiT) has reported that the total sum of sales to the kingdom since 2015 is just £6.7bn.
Katie Fallon of CAAT said: “The use of open licences covers up the real extent of the UK arms trade and makes it impossible to know what quantities of weapons are being sold around the world.
“UK-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles have had a devastating impact in the ongoing bombardment of Yemen.
“The fact that the real total of these sales could be so much higher than previously reported emphasises the central role that the UK government and UK-based companies have played in the war.”
Ms Fallon called for full transparency about what arms have gone to Saudi Arabia and in what quantity.
“So much of the arms industry takes place in secret and that’s how the arms dealers like it,” she said.
“As long as the widespread use of open licences continues, the true nature and volume of the UK arms trade will remain hidden from scrutiny, and therefore from meaningful control.”
More than half of the total of Britain’s arms trade is done via open licences, CAAT has calculated.
A DiT spokesperson said: “The UK takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust and transparent export control regimes in the world.
“We rigorously examine each export licence application on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.
“We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.