THE Greens have condemned Scottish Government investment in some of the world’s top weapons companies. The party claim almost £20 million has been paid to weapons firms through Scottish Enterprise, since the SNP came to power in 2007. The Scottish Government says the funding is used for the firms to find non-military application for their technology.

Raytheon, which has a factory in Fife, was implicated in a bombing which killed 40 Yemeni children last year. The company provided guided missiles to the Saudi regime. Leonardo has provided equipment for the Turkish armed forces and Chemring, which has a base in Ayrshire, reportedly provided tear gas used to quell protests in Hong Kong and Egypt.

Leonardo has received almost £19m since 2007, Chemring just over £196,000 and Raytheon £200,000.

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Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens’ external affairs spokesman, said: “To see the world’s largest arms dealers receive this money while simultaneously arming brutally oppressive regimes is genuinely sickening. This has happened during every single year of the SNP’s time in office, leaving their claims to be a ‘rights-respecting government’ in tatters.

“Meanwhile, the new Westminster Government has even more responsibility here. The UK Department for Trade has given direct support to these companies so they can identify new markets and sell more weapons. It supports arms fairs and even after losing a court case, it continued authorising arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The export of arms is the responsibility of the UK Government, and we expect them to properly police such exports and to properly investigate any concerns raised.

“The Scottish Government does not provide funding for the manufacture of munitions, either directly or via Scottish Enterprise. The support is focused on helping firms to diversify and develop non-military applications for their technology and ensure Scotland continues to benefit from the thousands of jobs in the defence, aerospace and shipbuilding sectors.

“Human rights due diligence checks are a normal part of the Scottish Enterprise application process.”