Thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue.
The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies do not provide funding for the manufacture of munitions.
Our agencies’ support is focused solely on helping firms to diversify and to develop non-military applications for their technology. This has included investment supporting opportunities in blue-light and civilian markets, such as through radars for civilian search and rescue missions.
With over 16,000 employees, the aerospace, defence and shipbuilding sectors, make an important contribution to the Scottish economy – however, the UK Government is responsible for setting an ethical arms export policy which is something that they have shamefully refused to do.
With over 16,000 employees, the aerospace, defence and shipbuilding sectors, make an important contribution to the Scottish economy – however, the SNP believes this must be carried out in the context of an ethical arms export policy. The Scottish Government’s vision for international trade (which can be found HERE) sets out a series of principles which explicitly address the issue of the manufacture and sale of arms. Unfortunately, this is ultimately a UK Government responsibility and it is something that they have shamefully refused to do.
The SNP has been consistent in calling for the UK to finally adopt an ethical stance on its arms export policy as the UK government has repeatedly and disgracefully put profits before peace even when almost all other nations have ceased their arms sales to the region. The published value of UK arms licensed for export to the Saudi-led coalition since the bombing in Yemen began in March 2015 is £6.3 billion; however, CAAT estimates that the real value is at least £16 billion.
The SNP have consistently raised the issues of human security with the government in Westminster – it is clear that the Tories are not interested in matching capabilities to threats as they have decided to waste yet more money on weapons of mass destruction as laid out in the Integrated Review; this may also be in contravention of the UK government’s commitments to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The SNP will remove nuclear weapons from Scotland with independence speedily and responsibly. Scotland’s share of the £2.5 billion spent on Trident annually equals £204 million a year – this could instead train 10,552 nurses, 4,080 doctors, 6,415 police officers, or 24,329 teachers: any of these things would make Scots safer than nuclear weapons ever would.
Again, many thanks for getting in touch.