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The Subsidy Trap: British Government Financial Support for Arms Exports and the Defence Industry

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Paul Ingram
1 July 2001

There has been a long running debate between those who believe that arms exports are essential to a thriving British defence industry, and those who judge them a drain on the exchequer and the economy. Every significant government policy, if it is to present value for money, requires extensive analysis of its costs and benefits for society. An informed scrutiny of government subsidies for arms exports and the defence industry is long overdue. Because of the complexity of the economic relationships involved, debate has often in the past been informed more by expressions of faith than clear analysis of the facts.

The purpose of this report, jointly published by Oxford Research Group and Saferworld, is to review the economic, military and industrial rationale for government support for arms exports and the UK defence industry, and challenge the misuse of public resources.

In 2004, we also published an updated follow-up report, Escaping the Subsidy Trap: Why Arms Exports are bad for Britain.

Our publications are circulated free of charge for non-profit use, but please consider making a donation to ORG, if you are able to do so.

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