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.