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To wish the UK didn't make so many weapons

(20 Posts)
brexitstolemyfuture Wed 24-May-17 07:50:14

I didn't realise we are the second biggest exporter of defense exporter - aka weapons exporter. Defense industry is better called attack. Can't we go back to making consumer goods - cars, toys and food manufacturing?

Farahilda Wed 24-May-17 07:59:12

We could, of course we could.

But companies tend to make what can be sold profitably.

People want cheap consumer goods and so a lot of the manufacturing has moved to places where labour costs are cheaper.

brexitstolemyfuture Wed 24-May-17 08:37:35

Maybe concentrate on high value items? Sweden has a healthy manufacturing industry that doesn't make as many weapons. I would happily pay more for quality goods than oodles of low quality tat.

VolunteerAsTribute Wed 24-May-17 08:40:50

If the unthinkable happens and Corbyn gets his hands on the economy, you'll be glad of any income the country has.

What do you mean by "Defense industry is better called attack"?

BahHumbygge Wed 24-May-17 08:42:00

Arms manufacturing is Sweden's dirty little secret! Amazing country otherwise, great social policies and pacifist outlook... but the underbelly of this is bolstered by a huge arms export industry.

Firesuit Wed 24-May-17 08:44:39

Can't we go back to making consumer goods - cars, toys and food manufacturing?

All that would achieve, if the alternative businesses succeeded, is to reduce and maybe put out of business whoever would have made those goods if competition hadn't increased. Similarly, all shutting down the UK arms manufacturers would achieve is to increase the profits of similar companies elsewhere.

In short, all this would achieve is making the world a little poorer than it otherwise would have been, due to the temporary disruption, with no long term effect on the supply of goods of any type.

Farahilda Wed 24-May-17 08:45:43

"Maybe concentrate on high value items?"

Which Ines are you thinking of? And how would a newcomer compete in that market?

(Genuine questions BTW - though if there were obvious gaps in the market there for the taking, I would have expected Britain - a red in tooth and claw capitalist nation - to be in there already)

scaryteacher Wed 24-May-17 08:45:49

Defence exports are high value items plus you need to keep the skills in place should we ever be on a war footing again.

Defence is important as an export in terms of materiel, but we also sell our expertise; foreign militaries pay to attend our military staff courses, we loan members of our military to other countries to help in training theirs.

For me, defence and security is the primary duty of the government. Without that, everything else is at risk.

purits Wed 24-May-17 08:47:18

There will always be conflict. You would have to be living in cloud cuckoo land to think otherwise.
I would rather be reliant on our own defence manufacturing than have to buy it in. Can you imagine the scenario: "Dear Mr Hitler, we think that you are a bit naughty and we might have to declare war on you. Before we do, could you send us some guns and tanks to enable us to do that. tyvm. the UK"

BarbarianMum Wed 24-May-17 08:53:54

Oh personally I love the way large parts of our country's wealth is made from exporting arms to regimes with dubious records in human rights and/or a propensity for attacking their neighbours. I think it gives us the moral high ground and it's fun to see our politicians make u turns a few years down the line when they denounce these self same regimes before we go to war against them.

Kokusai Wed 24-May-17 08:54:59

What do you mean by "Defense industry is better called attack"?

That the things manufactured and sold are not used to merely 'defense' innocent people.They are used in offense situations.

ToastDemon Wed 24-May-17 08:55:15

And there you have it. The Yemeni children blown to bits by the weapons we flog the Saudis are very easily dismissed while we wonder why children in Manchester are targeted.
Profits though...

VolunteerAsTribute Wed 24-May-17 09:02:07


Offen_c_e (we aren't American here) against oppressors. You need licences to sell arms or components of them to certain people or states.

VolunteerAsTribute Wed 24-May-17 09:02:58


You tasteless twat.

ToastDemon Wed 24-May-17 09:04:16

Oh fuck off Volunteer.

BarbarianMum Wed 24-May-17 09:04:16

Tut, tut Toast Everything has a price you know. And sacrifices must be made to preserve the bottom line.

MephistophelesApprentice Wed 24-May-17 09:05:09

It's the only production area where our high tech, high skill and high cost industrial structure has any advantage. We can't compete in any other manufacturing area.

brexitstolemyfuture Wed 24-May-17 09:06:35

Oh I didn't know Sweden did that, but still they sell less than us.

By not wanting to export weapons that doesn't mean we stop making them. But we just stop arming the world. What has corbyn said on it actually? He's in favour of trident.

SuperBeagle Wed 24-May-17 09:06:45

Can't we go back to making consumer goods - cars, toys and food manufacturing?


The UK hasn't been competitive in any of those areas since the 70s/80s.

scaryteacher Wed 24-May-17 09:38:43

If we don't export them, why would we make them? There is only so much materiel we can stockpile.

Corbyn is not in favour of Trident; the Labour party decided to renew Trident. Lady Nugee slipped up last week when she said it would be up for review if they got in.

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