Defend Peace: Disarm Tax Campaign

SPEAK is campaigning to end government support of the arms trade and in particular the closure of the Defence and Security Organisation.

For over 40 years there has been a government department that has actively promoted the buying and selling of arms overseas. Through this department, the DSO, the arms trade currently receives more support than all other UK business and industry put together. SPEAK believes that this should not be the role of the government and this disproportionate level of support is both morally and economically unacceptable. As a network, SPEAK seeks to bring about changes that will counteract the damage done by the arms trade, and empower those who work for peace.

SPEAK is calling for...

  • The closure of the Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO)
  • A new agency to facilitate diversification of skills, technologies, and jobs from arms to civil sector.
  • Ultimately we want to see an end to the government’s disproportionate level of political and economic support for the arms trade. We believe these two goals would be crucial first steps.

We will also be focusing on other government departments and how they support the arms trade, as the sale of arms to countries with concerning human rights records, and private military security companies.

A campaign by SPEAK and our partners led to the closure in 2006 of the DSO's even larger and more powerful predecessor, DESO, so we believe change is possible!