Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has called on Highlands and Islands Enterprise to cancel an arms industry event it is organising in which, “Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries.”
Mr Finnie has previously raised concerns with HIE about using public monies to support the defence industry.
The free workshop will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September and invites local businesses to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. It is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.
Mr Finnie has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament condemning this event and the use of public monies to promote the an industry that produces weapons that can be used to maim and kill innocent civilians which also calls on the Scottish Government to review its agencies' policies on the promotion of such organisations and for HIE to cancel this event.
Mr Finnie said;
“Public money should not be used to support the design, manufacture and sale of arms.
“The arms industry around the world is obscenely wealthy and needs no encouragement, let alone public finance to support its sordid trade.
“When I’ve previously raised issued with HIE about their support I’ve been told it’s hard to separate the manufacture of items which could have an application for the defence industries.
“There’s precious little public money about and it certainly should not be used to advance this particular sector.
“I have contacted the Chief Executive of HIE asking that she cancel this event and hope the Scottish Government will be progressive and stop all public support to the arms sector.”