Conflict and the British arms trade

Topic Selected: War and Conflict

General Article icon Type: General Article

Public views on our role in the arms trade.

By Maria Stonehouse

According to 70% of the British public, the UK Government should not be promoting the sales of British military equipment to foreign governments that have poor human rights records.

When it comes to non-democratic countries, the level of opposition is similar: 60% think that it is wrong for the UK Government to promote the sale of British military equipment to foreign countries that are not democracies, such as dictatorships, military regimes and unstable states.

It appears that our role in arms fairs is also highly contested. Two thirds (64%) think that the Government should not be involved in the organisation of arms fairs if countries with poor human rights records are attending. Two in five (43%) think that the UK Government should not be involved in organising arms fairs at all.

When asked about whether the UK arms industry should sell British military equipment to Saudi Arabi

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