Today (17 December) Labour MEPs voted in the European Parliament for a report calling for Member States to tighten up EU rules and practices on arms exports. Despite having common EU rules on arms exports European arms are still ending up in the hands of repressive regimes, terrorists and criminals.
In 2013 the EU accounted for more than a quarter of the global share of arms exports and last year the European Parliament overwhelmingly supported EU ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which establishes global rules for the buying and selling of arms.
Scottish MEP David Martin, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on international trade was the European Parliament rapporteur on the Treaty and believes a tight, well-regulated EU arms export policy is essential:
"The unregulated trade in arms has had a devastating effect on peace and stability around the world. Proper implementation of the UN agreement starts with a coordinated EU approach to regulate the arms industry."
"Transparency in the €20 billion European arms industry is long overdue. The Arms Trade Treaty requires an assessment of all exports to stop weapons ending up in conflicts fuelling genocide and human rights abuses.”