Harvie challenges FM over Scot Gov contradictory stance on arms industry

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (26 Apr) challenged the First Minister over the Scottish Government's contradictory stance on the arms industry.

At First Minister's Questions, Mr Harvie pointed out that while leading SNP figures including Nicola Sturgeon have said they are against airstrikes in Syria, oppose the UK’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia and regularly march against Trident, Scottish Government agencies are funding companies deeply implicated in the worst aspects of the arms trade.

He also pointed out that the Scottish Government has donated emergency funds to Yemen while funding companies to make the same bombs that created the disaster, and that SNP-controlled Glasgow City Council, though its Glasgow Life company, is sponsoring the upcoming ‘Trident showcase’ at the SEC.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Claims that funding for arms firms is for diversification simply won't wash; nothing the Scottish Government is doing has prevented these companies from continuing to supply military hardware which is being used to cause humanitarian crises. These firms should not be in receipt of public funds, full stop. 

"The First Minister's response today leaves a fundamental contradiction between concern for the victims of war and funding the companies that profit from war. I am sure it will disappoint the many Scots, including SNP members, who have campaigned under the slogan 'Bairns not Bombs'.  

"I believe most Scots want to see ethical economic investment, and that means rejecting the arms trade and instead investing in industries that do not contribute to suffering and injustice. The Greens will continue to make the case with the First Minister for complete divestment from the arms trade."