Britain has sold industrial materials to Syria that could have been used to make chemical weapons, according to a new report by MPs on arms sales.
The Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) said it was just one example of numerous questionable deals between UK contractors and countries the Foreign Office (FCO) deems to have poor human rights records.
The CAEC said supplies of sodium fluoride which could be used to make chemical weapons were sent to Syria in the last couple of years.
Sodium fluoride is a legitimate component of a number of civilian products including toothpaste, but there is no way of knowing what they were used for in the end.
MPs have fired a warning shot across the Government’s bows, questioning the checks made on more than 3,000 export licences worth over £12bn to 27 countries on the FCO’s own list of countries of human rights concern.
While the CAEC acknowledged many of the licences were for dual-use (military or civilian) items or other equipment which could not readily be used for “internal repression”, the MPs said the numbers were still “surprisingly large”.
The UK also has licences to sell arms to Iran, Egypt and Syria among many others.
Full article: Britain’s Chemical Sales To Syria Revealed (Sky News)