The UK Government is keen for the UK to be established as the world’s second largest arms exporter, an accolade for which we are competing alongside Russia, China, and France.
While some Christians follow the theology of Just War – that in certain situations, the use of force might be theologically justifiable – it does not follow that we should attach intrinsic social and economic value to armaments. We are reminded that all conflict, even if justifiable, has its root in a sinful and broken world. It is difficult, then, to promote economic gain from lethal weaponry at a personal or national level.
Defence and Security Equipment International Arms Fair (DSEI)
The huge DSEI arms fair, held every two years, plays a significant role in the UK Government’s mission to become a larger arms trader. The fair is heavily supported by the UK Government and involves as many as 35,000 people.
The fair brings together arms companies and weapons buyers from all over the world, including some of the world’s most oppressive regimes. For some Christians, the Arms Fair has long been a subject of process, as has the Government’s use of UK taxpayers’ money to provide subsidies to arms exporters.
The DSEI arms fair plans to return to the UK in September 2021. There will be more than 1600 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees.
Watch this space for updated briefings and information about how you can get involved next year.
In 2019, the DSEI arms fair was held at the ExCeL Centre in London. Many Christians and people of other faiths protested under the banner of No Faith in War.
We produced an updated briefing on the arms trade in advance of the fair.