Wednesday, 25 July 2007

PM Announces Closure of DESO by Chris

After recent leaks from the Treasury, Gordon Brown today announced the closure of the governments arms promotion unit, DESO. The news came as something of a shock as we were not expecting any news until the autumn. It was obviously a shock to BAE Systems and SBAC according to Defencenews! FoR has been running a specific campaign on DESO for the past 12 months but arms trade campaigners have been working on the issue for - well, decades. I think tonight particularly of our old friend Mary Ann Ebert who vigiled outside DESO's offices in Soho Square for many years until her death.

Of course this doesn't mean the end of the arms trade - the work of promoting UK arms exports is being moved to the UK Trade and Industy body but it is hugely signifcant. Perhaps one could say the beginning of the end?