British government continues to aid repression in human rights-abusing countries, new data shows

by Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Published in The Daily Maverick, 20 September 2019   The British government is continuing to approve the export of hi-tech surveillance equipment and software of the type that is being used by states abusing human rights to monitor and repress dissent, new government figures show. The government’s exports of […]

FCO, East African Department paper, ‘Africa: Arms Supply Policy’, October 1975

Cover note: this paper analyses the “disadvantages under which we operate in Africa due to our inability, in contrast to the Communist powers, to supply arms on concessionary terms” and the “lack of enthusiasm” in this by the Treasury, Overseas Development Ministry and ECGD. Paper. “With rare exceptions, British policy in Africa has been to […]

British foreign policy in the Middle East: A secret history of self interest

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 27 March 2019 On Tuesday in the British parliament, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry asked an urgent question relating to allegations that British troops have been covertly fighting in Yemen and supporting the Saudi-led coalition. As reported in the Mail on Sunday, five British special forces troops from the elite Special Boat […]

Colluding in war crimes: Britain’s unreported military alliance with Israel

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 6 December 2018 Britain’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, recently visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging to increase trade and investment between the two countries, which already stands at a record $9bn. While more than 230 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli forces since […]

Will the US and UK seek a palace coup against Mohammed bin Salman?

by Mark Curtis published in Middle East Eye, 25 October 2018 As Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) comes under increasing pressure over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, policymakers in Washington and London have one overriding priority: to preserve the House of Saud, a military and economic ally in which they have invested so […]

The raw truth about the UK’s special relationship with Israel

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 5 June 2018   Britain has a special relationship with Israel that is little recognised in the mainstream media but unmissable in light of the killings in Gaza. With more than 110 protesters dead, Britain is in effect defending Israeli actions. The British government has not, as […]

Are British ministers consistently misleading parliament on their Middle East policy?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 May 2018   Two British ministers have recently been forced to resign for misleading parliament. Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned, saying she had mistakenly misled parliament over whether her department had targets for deporting illegal immigrants. Last December, Damian Green, who was effectively Theresa […]

Why the UK must rethink its support for Saudi Arabia

Article published in Middle East Eye, 2 March 2018 by Mark Curtis Government policies are meant to promote the national interest but the upcoming visit to the UK of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman highlights something quite different – Whitehall’s pursuit of a special relationship that endangers the British public. Theresa May says the […]

Tanks to India and Pakistan, 1967

George Thomson, Commonwealth Secretary, to Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 19 October 1967 Since March 1966 UK policy is to supply arms to both India and Pakistan. The Pakistani government wants the UK to approve a proposal to establish a factory in either Pakistan or Iran to manufacture Vickers tanks for the armies of Pakistan, Iran […]

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting Aid and Undermining Human Rights

Report for Global Justice Now (December 2017) The UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) raises all kinds of questions about the future of UK aid, the nature of the UK’s relations with states abusing human rights and the government’s openness with the public. Established in 2015, the CSSF is a £1 billion annual […]