Currently viewing the tag: "UK"

“But the jobs!” – the go-to cry for many people in response to objections to the activities of the arms industry. The popular myth that the arms trade is a crucial source of jobs and prosperity is regularly trotted out to defend arms sales to dictatorships and countries at war, such as the continuous […]

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Brexidiocy

On October 5, 2017 By

One of the overlooked aspects of Brexit is that it requires a professional civil service to implement a set of policies that every one of them knows to be comprehensively wrong. It is too much to ask them to implement the impossible with passion, commitment and creativity. It is particularly so as the intricacies of Brexit will mean that Britain’s civil servants can do little else for a decade. While the EU and other responsible members of the global community are grappling with global issues such as climate change, tax justice and employment in the robotic era, Britain will be uselessly chewing through an avalanche of the legal minutiae of the world’s most complex divorce proceedings, which in the best case scenario, will minimize the damage to the status quo.

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On Monday, July 10, the UK High Court ruled that the government is acting lawfully in allowing export licenses for arms sales to Saudi Arabia. In so doing, the Court rejected a judicial review brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which argued that such sales were illegal due to the Saudi-led war […]

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We are pleased to draw to your attention a new report by Sam Perlo-Freeman, project manager for our program on the Global Arms Business and Corruption. The report, “Special Treatment: UK Government support for the arms trade and industry,” was authored by Perlo-Freeman while he was at SIPRI, who describes it thus: “The arms industry and market, in the UK as in most other significant western arms-producing countries, has a unique status. Although its production capabilities are privately owned, it has the national government as its primary customer. Unlike other industries, especially in the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ economies, it is the subject of active government industrial policy.”

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Last week, a bombing raid in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, struck a funeral, killing 140 civilians. This is the latest in a series of outrages, well-documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and others, whereby Saudi and allied forces have struck hospitals, schools, market-places and other civilian targets. Saudi-led bombing is believed to be responsible for the majority of civilian deaths in Yemen’s bloody civil war.

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But perhaps the biggest blow to Africa from the Brexit comes in the least tangible sphere of international political culture. As the weakest continent, Africa has the most to gain from the principles of multilateralism — collective security, international cooperation, and respect for international law. The continent achieves its best outcomes for democracy and human rights, and for peace and security, when its governments collaborate in the African Union and regional economic communities, and when they work in partnership with the United Nations and the European Union.

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