Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Masters of War

An arms company that sold missiles to the Gaddafi regime in Libya is a “role model” for the sort of business Britain will be engaged in after Brexit, the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said. MBDA is “strengthening the reputation of this country” with its work and that it is “a role model for the kind of partnerships we’ll be seeking” once the UK has left the EU. 

Anti-arms trade activists slammed the Defence Secretary for courting the arms company, accusing him of glorying a firm that “profits from war and arms tyrants”.

In 2007 MBDA signed a contract to provide £200 million worth of missiles and military communications equipment to Colonel Gaddafi’s regime in Libya. The firm also makes the Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles and sells them to the Saudi Arabian air force, which is bombing civilians in Yemen. Fallon also backed BAE to sell more arms to the Saudi Arabian government. The firm is seeking a significant new contract with the autocratic petro-state.  “Are we supporting them? Absolutely. It’s something ministers have been pressing with the Saudi government for a number of years now,” he said.

Britain is the second biggest arms exporter in the world, according to UK Trade and Investment. Last year Britain sold weapons to 22 of the 30 countries on its own human rights watch-list since 2010.

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