Britain has drastically increased arms sales. In 2018, Britain reported £310 million in arms sales. In 2019, that figure increased to £1.3 billion. This is great news for the British economy, which is still finding it's sea legs after the recent separation from the EU. However, it has not come without controversy.
A new report indicates that British arms sales have increased to nations rife with claims of human rights violations and oppression. The report shows that 26 of the 48 countries who received British arms are classified as "not free" on the Freedom House's freedom scale. Human rights groups are working to bring this revelation to light, but the issue has gone largely unreported in the media due to the worldwide focus on COVID-19.
This controversy follows on the heels of a 2019 court of appeals ruling that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. Red flags were raised with this ruling, sparking criticism that the British government valued profits and economic success over human rights and freedom.