The UK High Court has just ruled that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are legal, ending a controversial challenge arising from Saudi Arabia’s ongoing involvement in the war in Yemen. The following chart from Statista.com highlights the growing trend in arms sales from the UK to Saudi Arabia since 2008, which reached over £3.0 billion in 2015.
“Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)has lost a high-profile case calling for the UK government to cease arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The organization launched a judicial review of British arms exports to Saudi Arabia over concern that the weapons have been used against civilians in Yemen. Earlier today, however, the High Court has ruled that UK government arms sales to the kingdom are lawful.
Over the years, the UK has exported billions of pounds of equipment to Saudi Arabiaincluding Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets and a wide assortment of munitions.”
You will find more statistics at Statista
However, these arms purchases pale in comparison to Saudi Arabian purchases of US arms which are projected to reach $350 billion over the next 10 years.
The one crucial question that now remains is how long Saudi Arabia will be be able to afford surging defense spending with oil prices low and their budget deficit approaching 17% of GDP, the highest of any G20 member.