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
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
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.