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Arms export licences from European Union countries totalled a record €40.3 billion in 2009, up 20 per cent on 2008
A new bill which campaign groups warn could precipitate human rights and environmental damage by UK companies is being rushed through parliament a day before the Government releases its 'green' budget.
News that Britain may have become the world's largest arms exporter last year has been met by a warning from campaigners that the majority are still being sent to oppressive regimes.
Thirty UK Church leaders have signed a statement calling for the closure of the government arms sales unit, the Defence Export Service Organisation (DESO).