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Re: It makes you feel proud to be British...

By Baldman17/10 15:12Sat Oct 17 15:12:33 2020In response to Re: It makes you feel proud to be British...

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I don’t claim to be an expert in the U.K. arms trade, I’m trying to understand the principles behind your position.

So it’s not the quantity of arms sold to SA that’s the problem. It’s the type of ‘arms’. That’s where I got confused perhaps from your earlier posts.

You make a moral distinction between life saving non offensive equipment and life taking equipment. That is a more coherent position but I disagree with it, as I think a legitimate part of defence is deterrence.

Yours is a moral position within which you might have some room to pursue economic or strategic objectives. But it’s primarily moral.

On your last paragraph, I think we can agree on a couple of things.

- if an arms export order increases the risk of harm to significant numbers of British citizens you shouldn’t do it.
- if an arms export order is more costly to the taxpayer than the benefit it brings to the country, you shouldn’t do it

So if you can meet those two conditions and don’t produce cluster bonds, land mines etc, and you only export to those to whom it is in your strategic interest to do so, I say go for it.

I think the difference between us is that you would only sell defensive stuff, while I would sell typhoons and missiles to anyone as long as it meets the above tests.

Edited by Baldman at 15:13:02 on 17th October 2020

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