Sweden’s stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Why can’t the UK follow suit?

Friends of Syria

Britain supplies some of the world’s worst tyrants with weapons, and our excuses for doing so are wearing increasingly thin

by David Wearing

Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom  ‘When Saudi Arabia blocked Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström from speaking about human rights at a meeting of the Arab League, Stockholm tore up a long-term arms trade agreement with the Saudis.’ Photograph: Reuters Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom
‘When Saudi Arabia blocked Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström from speaking about human rights at a meeting of the Arab League, Stockholm tore up a long-term arms trade agreement with the Saudis.’ Photograph: Reuters

Thursday 12 March 2015 16.03 GMT

It’s always nice to have the Scandinavians around, to show us there’s a better way of doing things. The Nordic and Anglo-American models of capitalism sit at opposite ends of the developed world league table on inequality and, as a direct result, on a range of key measures of social wellbeing. Healthy, happy lives for them. Food banks and zero-hour contracts for us. Now, in another area of national embarrassment – foreign policy and arms sales – the Swedes have also demonstrated…

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