The controversial human rights record of Gulf states should not be a bar to increased post-Brexit trade with them, Theresa May has said ahead of a high-profile visit to the Middle East.
With her hosts having been sharply criticised for the way they suppressed protests during the Arab Spring, Ms May insisted closer ties will allow the UK greater influence in pushing its values.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Prime Minister said she wants to open a new post-Brexit chapter in relations with the Gulf.
“No doubt there will be some people in the UK who say we shouldn’t seek stronger trade and security ties with these countries because of their record on human rights.” May has said.
Well that’s one mealy mouthed way of covering profits for human rights preferences. May seems to think that supplying these states with arms and other goods at a nice little profit will somehow get them to change their mind with regards to the appalling human rights operated in those states. Of course she doesn’t really think that at all. It’s a sales mission in a desperate attempt to shore up the coming disaster of Brexit. Sell to any despot, and dictator, any war monger as long as there is a profit in it. The Tories can always put up an argument that they are doing it for the good of humanity. After all they have demonised the poor, the sick, the disabled, the disadvantaged and in general the working classes of the UK since 2010. But only for their own good of course.
Ms May will attend a dinner with the six leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman on Tuesday, before addressing the plenary session of the summit on Wednesday. Just take Qatar, there’s a state well worth dealing with. Massive amounts of money and kings in the abuse of humanity stakes. Still according to May after we sell them lots of arms they will become virtual saints.
I’m sure the civilian population of the Yemen being bombed by the Saudis using UK arms and equipment are relieved to hear that May is doing all she can.
Here is an interesting analogy, not mine but rather good. Perhaps May should read it.
Utter nonsense and hypocrisy and the worst thing is that she knows it. If I’m a feminist and I know my neighbour beats up his wife but I sell him a whip, this is not going to promote my values but his. Our trade with the Gulf is selling them weapons to implement their values, not remotely ours.
May has been urged by campaigners not to set aside human rights concerns in pursuit of a potentially lucrative free-trade arrangement with Middle-Eastern countries. But she, who will become the first British leader and the first woman to attend the annual gathering of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) annual summit, said on Sunday that the UK must seek to “transform the way we do business” with the region. In other words screw human rights let’s get selling.