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UK arms sales controls are a ‘bad joke’ and ‘dangerous for democracy’ says MP on oversight committee

In an exclusive interview, the Labour Co-operative MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has revealed to The Canary that British weapons sales are “opaque”, unaccountable, and lack any democratic controls. Russell-Moyle is a member of the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC). - Mohamed Elmaazi, The Canary; 13 September 2018

In 2012, then foreign secretary William Hague defended arms sales to Saudi Arabia during its repression of demonstrators in Bahrain.

He told parliament: "The Government takes its export responsibilities very seriously, and operates one of the most rigorous arms export control regimes in the world."

This refrain has been used so often that a Tumblr page entitled Rigorous Repetition records its use.

Russell-Moyle says the repeated government line is “a bad joke” and that, far from providing effective oversight, the CAEC is a near “toothless” organisation.

Read more here.