Thu 11 Feb, 2021

The Scottish Greens have called on the Scottish Government to end all cash grants and support for companies profiting from the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen. This follows the decision of the US Government to halt arms sales and support for the Saudi Arabian military in Yemen.

The bombing campaign has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, including widespread famine and cholera outbreaks. This crisis is only possible because of the complicity and support of arms companies and arms-dealing governments like the UK.

 Government statistics show that the UK has licensed at least £6.8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabian forces since the war began in March 2015.

The UK government has refused to follow the US lead by curbing arms sales. This is despite sustained and credible evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Saudi forces, including the bombing of hospitals and funerals.

Unfortunately, many of Saudi Arabia’s arms suppliers have also benefited from support and funding from Scottish Enterprise, a Scottish Government agency.

Scottish Enterprise has said that this money is being used for business diversification, but has repeatedly failed to provide evidence for this assertion

Scottish Greens external affairs spokesperson Ross Greer said: "This move by the White House could be a big step towards ending this terrible war. If Boris Johnson wants to help end the immense suffering of Yemen’s people, then he must follow President Biden’s example.

“The SNP are far from blameless here though. While their MPs condemn UK military support for the Saudi coalition, agencies under the control of the Scottish Government directly fund and support the very arms dealers fuelling the war.

“Many of the weapons used to commit terrible atrocities were made by companies supported directly by the Scottish Government’s enterprise agency. In the six years since the bombardment and blockage began, millions of pounds of public money has been given to multinational arms dealers such as Raytheon. If the Scottish Government wants to live up to its own rhetoric on human rights, it must end these handouts immediately.”

 * Leonardo has received at least £7.5 million of public money since 2015. It is a partner in the Eurofighter consortium, which produces the aircraft being used by Saudi forces in Yemen. While most UK production will be overseen by BAE, Leonardo has a 36% share in the total programme.

 *BAE Systems has received at least £616,000 since 2007. It is the biggest arms company in Europe, selling arms to over 100 countries. It produces the Eurofighter jets that are being used by Saudi forces in Yemen.

 *Raytheon has received at least £140,000 since 2017. Its factory in Glenrothes has been linked to the production of key components for the Paveway IV missile, which is being used by Saudi forces in Yemen and has been used in attacks on civilian targets.

Get involved

More like this

Scottish Greens: Kids should start school at seven

Sun 21 Feb, 2021

Scotland should introduce a kindergarten stage, with children starting formal primary schooling at seven, the Scottish Greens have said.

Research shows a Nordic-style kindergarten system between the ages of three and six, with learning undertaken through ‘creative play’ rather than a ‘formal learning’ approach, would improve children’s wellbeing and educational outcomes later in their school career.

Scottish Greens: sack the SQA board

Fri 12 Feb, 2021

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP has branded the Scottish Qualifications Authority “not fit for purpose” and called on the Scottish Government to sack the board of the bungling exams body.

Greens: Vaccinate special school staff

Wed 3 Feb, 2021

Staff working at special schools in Scotland should be prioritised for COVID vaccination alongside health and care staff, the Scottish Greens have said. This comes after the announcement that some special school staff in Northern Ireland will be prioritised.

Education secretary John Swinney last week indicated that consideration was being given to the prioritisation of special school staff but that no decision had yet been made.