Brown continues with £83 million German munitions deal

Posted on 10 Jun 2008 by The Manufacturer

Gordon Brown has exploited a loophole in the cluster bomb ban agreement in order to preserve a previously agreed £83 million deal with German munitions manufacturer GIWS.

Despite having announced his support of “a ban on all cluster bombs, including those currently in service by the UK” at a Dublin conference, Brown had in fact negotiated a loophole in order to exempt new generation anti-tank cluster shells, which are not yet in use, from the agreement.

This move will allow Britain to proceed with a deal, agreed in November 2007, to purchase new Ballistic Sensor Fused Munitions (BFSM) from Gesellschaft für Intelligente Wirksysteme mbH (GIWS) – smart munitions which are fired from the AS90 artillery gun and then drop by parachute, using sensors to seek out enemy targets as they descend.

“To cynically stop calling the new GIWS anti-tank shell as a cluster weapon so [the Government] could press ahead with an £83 million contract to replace the bombs [Brown] outlawed only last week is a disgrace,” said Liz Lynne MEP, European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee member.