Friday, 12 May 2017

2017 Election Campaign: Refugees and the UK Arms Trade

[Original Post from]

Today Tim Farron announces LibDems plans to accept 50,000 Syrian refugees.

I have no problem with the UK taking more refugees. The problem I have is the UK's role in creating refugees. We should not be supporting any side in the wars in the Middle East. I have worked and travelled in the region (and beyond) over the decades. My fear is, which have been confirmed by Michael Fallon on the Today Programme this morning, is that we are selling weapons purely for profit and, in doing so, enable the continuation of the wars. Saudi Arabia hasn't been threatened by Yemen but Fallon claimed this in order to justify the continued bombing of Yemeni cities using UK-made weapons.
The Second Gulf War started in 2003. There has been no peace in the region since then, despite being flooded by weapons from the USA and Europe, including the UK. After 14 years of continuous conflict, no one is speaking of peace. The language of politics is becoming increased more belligerent. 
Now the UK is the second largest arms manufacturer after the USA, but our armed forces continually complain of lacking equipment. So where is all these weapons going? If the wars stop, what will happen to our industries? What will happen to the US economy?
Continuous warfare is no basis for a long term economic strategy. It is a recipe for a long term refugee problem.

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