How much money does arms trade bring the UK?
Arms exports are estimated to be worth around £7 billion per year, which means they make up just 1.4% of total UK exports.
What about jobs?
The arms industry’s trade association (ADS) estimates the UK has around 55,000 arms export jobs. Using this figure, 0.2% of the UK workforce is employed in producing arms for export.
Using government and industry data, CAAT estimates that there are 170,000 jobs in the UK arms industry: 115,000 at the Ministry of Defence, and 55,000 in company arms exports (see CAAT’s Arms to Renewables briefing for details).
However the government and arms industry relentlessly say there are 300,000 UK arms industry jobs. This has become the standard number used by the media.
This is misleading because it includes around 100,000 jobs from unrelated spending by the Ministry of Defence on items such as gas, water and electricity, and maintaining the defence estate.