UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) is a government department that helps businesses sell their products worldwide.
It supports a range of different industries, from IT to pharmaceuticals. Its Sectors Group employs approximately 130 staff to support 34 industry sectors. In 2008, it opened the Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) to promote arms exports. UKTI now employs 160 civil servants to sell arms
Despite its obscure name and low profile, UKTI DSO is at the heart of the government’s support for the arms trade.
- It exists purely to help arms companies sell weapons to other countries.
- Working on behalf of private arms companies, it promotes weapons sales to unstable and repressive regimes, with little regard for the impact of such sales.
- This work is all paid for by the UK taxpayer.
- UKTI DSO reflects the huge and disproportionate support given to arms companies: UKTI employs more civil servants to sell arms than it does to support every other industry sector combined.
- There is no economic justification for such support: arms sales account for just 1.2 % of UK exports and sustain just 0.2% of the national labour force. Instead of fuelling insecurity and abuse around the globe, this money would be better spent on tackling real threats to our security, such as climate change: a move that would also create new jobs and boost the economy.
What you can do
CAAT is calling for the closure of UKTI DSO and an end to its functions.
Join our campaign to tell the government that arming some of the world's worst human rights abusers and most unstable regimes is NOT OK.