Poll finds only 6% of UK supports arms sales to Saudi Arabia

By agency reporter
March 9, 2018

A poll of over 2000 adults, carried out by Populus for Campaign Against Arms Trade, has found that only six per cent of UK adults believe it is acceptable to sell weapons to the Saudi Arabian regime.

The poll, which asked participants to identify which governments they thought it was acceptable to arm, also found that 41 per cent of the UK opposes the sale of all military equipment.

The same poll found that a plurality of the UK opposes the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.

  • 37 per cent believe that the Saudi Crown Prince should not have been invited to the UK
  • 21 per cent believe that it was right to invite him
  • 27 per cent neither agree nor disagree with the visit taking place
  • 15 per cent don’t know

UK government statistics show that since the bombardment of Yemen began in 2015, the UK has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. These include:

  • £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (aircraft, helicopters, drones)
  • £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "The overwhelming majority of people in the UK do not share Theresa May’s political and military support for the Saudi regime. Despite the spin surrounding the Crown Prince, he is a figurehead for one of the world's most authoritarian dictatorships.

"The regime has carried out atrocities against Saudi people for decades, and has inflicted a terrible humanitarian catastrophe on the people of Yemen. It is time for Theresa May and her colleagues to end their shameful support for this appalling autocracy."

* Campaign Against Arms Trade https://www.caat.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.