David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia

David Cameron observes work on a Eurofighter Typhoon during a visit to BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire [Image: Martin Rickett/PA].

David Cameron is on the wrong side of this argument and doesn’t even know it.

In the middle of the noise of the EU referendum and the row over his idiotic comments about Jeremy Corbyn, this is perhaps the most damning indictment against him.

He simply doesn’t understand why his supply of arms to Saudi Arabia – which that country appears to have used against Yemen – is wrong.

David Cameron has boasted of his efforts to help sell “brilliant things” such as Eurofighter Typhoons to Saudi Arabia on the day the European parliament voted for an arms embargo on the country over its bombardment of Yemen.

The prime minister talked of the UK government’s role in selling equipment made by defence company BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia, Oman and other countries as he visited the firm’s factory in Preston.

At almost the same time, the European parliament voted in favour of an EU-wide ban on arms being sold to Saudi Arabia in protest at its heavy aerial bombing of Yemen, which has been condemned by the UN. The vote does not force EU member states to comply but it increases pressure on national governments to re-examine their relationships with Riyadh.

Source: David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia | World news | The Guardian

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16 thoughts on “David Cameron boasts of ‘brilliant’ UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia

  1. mohandeer

    He’s also on the wrong side of International Law on key UN Resolutions. The problem with Dave is his capacity to dismiss the human cost in lives in favour of the pound signs in front of his eyes. As has been witnessed by the many vulnerable people in the UK who have not only been betrayed by the right wing neocons, but actively discriminated against(another UN resolution implemented by the EU but not here in the UK)so too are the hundreds of thousands of slaughtered civilians in Yemen and elsewhere by the desire to get rich, whatever the human cost. At this rate, the UK will end up being known as an uncaring genocidal proponent of human misery, not only in terms of those we kill indirectly supporting such regimes as the head chopping Saudis, but also the refugees fleeing the conflicts we have helped create, thereby shirking our responsibility to the consequences of greed and contempt for human life. Yet another cause I will be campaigning to resolve.

  2. Andrew

    Not generally a supporter of war but, to my knowledge Northern Yemen, in conjunction with Terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and with help from Iran are attempting to wipe out and take over Southern Yemen, Many thousands of Southern Yemeni’s have died at their hands and the Coalition led by Saudi are attempting to halt the onslaught on the South. America have assisted the Iran backed North by pulling out of military bases in Aden in deals with Iran, presumably for Oil supplies. Southern Yemen stands in the way of Iran and it’s allies (suggested ISIS is one of them) preventing the total control of Oil in the region by Iran, again presumably in exchange for either Oil or not proliferating Nuclear weaponry. Finally all this is under the nose of the UN, even down to aid ships to the Yemen region, filled with food being diverted from Aden (Southern Yemen) to a port in the North. Why was this, well when stopped and investigated by Saudi forces, the aid ship contained masses of weapons to support the Northern tribes attacking the South, I for one do not believe that the West is ignorant, I feel they are complicit as it serves their interest above real peace in the region which would be served by both halves of Yemen being independent.

    One could say that Iran (with the aid of terrorist groups such as ISIS) could hold control over Syria, Iraq and then Yemen( if the war suceeds), cutting off Saudi Arabia and therefore having control of a large chunk of the Middle East and it’s oil supplies -if I were a cynical man!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Except the Saudis seem to be carrying out a war of extermination, with overwhelmingly superior weaponry and firepower.

      1. Andrew

        Replying to the War of extermination comment, ultimately the fighting needs to stop and you’d hope the UN or some such organisation would step in but they aren’t. Until the Saudi’s pinned back Northern forces, peacful Southern Yemeni people were being exterminated because the Northern tribes, supporting the corrupt leader (also from the North) wished to take over the Southern Cities, shipping and wealth. This is worrying as the Northern tribes are generally uneducated groups, who have teamed up with Terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Al-Qaeeda to support the North, in their war on the South. The Southern people did not make moves to take over the Northern areas, it was the other way around where, with no provocation, Northern forces loyal to the ousted president moved to take over and crush Southern Towns and Cities.

  3. Andrew

    PS. I am no supporter of the Tories or war but my information comes from people actually living through this conflict or with relatives doing so.

    1. Andrew

      If you want further detail I can link you to credible sources who can detail what is actually going on. The two sources, who can provide more detail, are local Labour Party officials, up for selection for local and/or National positions, both are of Southern Yemeni descent, one born in Yemen the other in the UK.

      1. Andrew

        The few I know of are Southern Yemeni’s and there’s an element of fear of being identified and targeted even abroad. Families of those found opposing the corrupt Northern government are at risk back home in Yemen also, hence why information doesn’t always flow easily to the West.

    1. Andrew

      If you’re interested in more detail regarding this conflict, see The Independent article by Robert Fisk, Friday 27th March 2015.

  4. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

    And these “brilliant” sales were achieved how exactly, Dave?

    Private Eye
    Shady Arabia and the Desert Fix

    This campaign was the culmination of a long-running Private Eye investigation into corruption on a contract between the governments of the UK and Saudi Arabia.
    In 2012, the team obtained details from a whistleblower of illicit payments and gifts made on a multi-billion pound contract to deliver electronic warfare equipment to the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Over the following two years the team unravelled the mechanisms of the bribery, revealed those who had accepted corrupt payments, and exposed the network behind the deal – as well as revealing the highly sensitive matter of the Ministry of Defence’s complicity in bribery even as the Coalition government professed to be clamping down on corruption.
    The team examined corporate records and other histories in the UK, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Liechtenstein, stretching back over 40 years. They revealed the names of officials who had been complicit in decades of bribery, with its origins in the earliest days of the British arms trade in Saudi. A few months after the story broke, the Serious Fraud Office announced a criminal investigation. It continues today.

    In 2010, BAE Systems pled guilty to a United States court, to charges of false accounting and making misleading statements in connection with the sales.[4] An investigation by the British Serious Fraud Office into the deal was discontinued after political pressure from the Saudi and British governments.

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