CAAT has information on thousands of meetings between government and the arms industry in our Political Influence browser.
The volume of meetings and levels of access are a clear manifestation of the intimate relationship between the arms and securities industries and the UK government.
The relentless, special access warps, narrows and distorts government priorities.
There are, of course, all kinds of meetings. Many will be lobbying meetings, though they won’t be identified as such. There are meetings to plan sales campaigns, operational meetings about arms procured by the MoD, formal dinners and informal breakfasts, and
routine catch-up meetings.
Near the most influential end of the scale are the formal high-level advisory bodies, where company executives help ministers work out what they should be doing. A prime example is the Defence Suppliers Forum. This features two MoD ministers, one BIS minister and a collection of the departments’ senior civil servants, meeting with chief executives and vice presidents of many of world’s largest arms companies.