Statement by London MPs in opposition to the DSEI arms fair
I am strongly opposed to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair which is taking place at ExCeL London from 14 to 17 September this year, in London’s Docklands. DSEI, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs, is organised by Clarion Events and the Government’s arms sales unit, Defence & Security Exports, and is expected to play host to more than 1,600 arms companies selling everything from guns and bombs to fighter jets and warships.
London, one of the most vibrant and welcoming cities in the world, and home to many people who have fled conflict, has no place exhibiting weapons which inflict suffering and displacement on a global scale. Our city is not a haven for trade with countries that contributed to grievous human rights violations.
When the Blitz began in September 1940 London’s Docklands bore the brunt, with over 25,000 bombs falling on the Docklands over the course of the war. By the end of World War II, the damage to the East End left much of the area in ruins and almost 30,000 Londoners had been killed. Now DSEI promotes weapons on the very site of this destruction, against the values, history and spirit of our city.
I call on the Government to end the promotion and export of military equipment, to withdraw its support for DSEI and to undertake a complete overhaul of security policy to replace military sales with diplomatic collaboration.
Diane Abbott MP
Apsana Begum MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Kate Osamor MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP