18 February 2011

An ethical foreign policy?

Why does our government encourage the sale of arms to repressive Arab regimes? The Independent reports:

Since it came into office the Government has granted permission for weapons sales to countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including a licence for weapon-makers to sell tear gas to the Bahrain administration. The Government also sanctioned sales of crowd control ammunition to Libya, combat helicopters to Algeria and armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia.

A Department for Business report on weapons exports, published in the third quarter of last year, gave the green light to British arms manufacturers to sell a number of crowd control products to the Bahrain government, including "CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunderflashes".

If you asked the people of the UK, I doubt if they would approve. So why does our government continue? Apart from filthy lucre of course.

It would be nice to be on the side of the goodies, even if only occasionally ...

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