21 May 2010
Private gain, public pain CAAT briefing outlines why arms promotion is wasteful and unsustainable
As a new UK Government takes office, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has issued a new briefing paper outlining the case against Government arms export promotion.
Private gain, public pain the case for ending Government's arms selling describes the activities of UK Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) and outlines the ethical, economic and security arguments against arms export promotion.
It considers the Government's justifications for supporting arms exports, including national security and jobs, and shows that there is little rationale for either. Arms export promotion promotes a narrow view of "national security" that ignores major threats, not least climate change. Rather than creating jobs, what used to be UK companies are locating overseas, and in any case comprise only a small part of UK economic activity. Taxpayers' money is wasted on production that is destructive when important areas with skill requirements that are similar and have much greater market potential, such as renewables, are underfunded.
The report also looks at UK arms export controls and why they have been largely ineffective in containing arms proliferation. The briefing contains graphs and case studies and is fully referenced.
Ian Prichard, CAAT's Research Co-ordinator, says:
The UK is one of the main players in the destructive international arms trade - a trade that has been actively promoted by successive UK Governments but which serves neither national security nor economic wellbeing. We call on the new coalition government to end its promotion of arms exports and close UKTI DSO immediately.
For further comment please contact CAAT's Press Co-ordinator on 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673 232 or email press(at)caat·org·uk. CAAT's researcher is available for interview on this issue.
1. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) works for the reduction and ultimate abolition of the international arms trade together with progressive demilitarisation within arms producing countries. Around 80% of CAAT's funding comes from individual supporters and CAAT is strictly non-violent in all its work.
2. Private gain, public pain the case for ending the Government's arms selling is available email enquiries(at)caat·org·uk Cost: £3 to commercial organisations.