Supplementary written evidence submitted
by The Campaign Against Arms Trade|
1. Following the oral evidence session held by
your Committees on 13 December 2010, the Campaign Against Arms
Trade (CAAT) would like to make a short supplementary submission.
CAAT was pleased that your Committees asked questions about export
promotion, but concerned that some of the answers may not have
conveyed a fully accurate impression.
2. Malcolm Bruce mentioned Defence Ministers'
espousal of arms exports and asked the witnesses representing
industry where the orders were going to come from, pointing out
that others countries were also in the business and that military
budgets are under pressure. He suggested that some people might
be concerned if any of the increased sales were to emerging markets
where "controls might be more difficult".
3. In response David Wilson said that the United
States was a "big and increasing market" and, latter,
cited new members of the European Union. None of the industry
panel disagreed with Malcolm Bruce's summary that the markets
envisaged "shouldn't really cause significant concern".
4. However the markets being prioritised are
far from being limited to the USA and the newer EU members. The
Government's arms sales unit, the UK Trade and Investment Defence
and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO), has a list of priority markets
for 2010-11. These are Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, India,
Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and
the USA. (Hansard, 28.6.10, Col. 418-9W).
5. While the list, indeed, features the USA,
it is notable for its lack of EU member states, but does, worryingly,
include countries that give rise to grave concern on human rights,
conflict or development grounds including Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia. UKTI DSO is also working hard to promote military
exports to Angola and Vietnam.
UK LEADERS SUPPORT
6. Later in the session your Chair asked the
industry representatives what they would like to see Ministers
doing to support arms exports. In his response, Brinley Salzmann
said: "We would welcome Ministers actively supporting British
companies and particular programmes pursuing potential export
projects to help counter-balance the high level of political support
that our competitors in France and the United States receive.
They receive a high level of support, and we are keen to see similar
support from our Ministers". The efforts of Presidents Sarkozy
and Obama in promoting sales to Brazil and India were then mentioned
as examples the UK could learn from.
7. This may have left members of your Committees
with the impression that the UK was not already doing likewise.
In fact, Ministers of differing political hues have over decades
thrown their weight behind bids to sell arms overseas. Recently,
in July 2010 and as CAAT pointed out in its submission of November
2010, David Cameron and several senior ministerial colleagues,
accompanied by industry leaders including BAE Systems' Dick Olver,
visited India. Contracts for the supply of Hawk jets were signed.
These jets will be built in India, raising concerns about regional
arms races and proliferation, but the deal will support just 200
jobs in the UK
8. Junior Ministers have also been active. To
use Brazil as an example, in September 2010, the Minister for
International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth, went there to
sign a Defence Cooperation Treaty. He was accompanied by 10 senior
representatives from top UK arms companies along with Richard
Paniguian, Head off UKTI DSO.
9. CAAT deeply regrets these sales promotion
efforts, be they by French, US or UK politicians. They may benefit
the arms companies, but at the expense of peace and justice. Military
production also wastes science and engineering skills which could
be used to develop green technologies.
10. As Malcolm Bruce remarked ".. our non-governmental
organisations have made it clear that they have no ideological
objection to developing our defence export industry ..".
That may be true of those organisations which were giving oral
evidence, but is not the case more generally. CAAT is not alone
in having a moral objection to arms exportsit is a view
shared with many other organisations and individuals.