Local MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens, has called on Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) 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 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.
John 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 issues 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.”
Joyce MacLennan from HIE, said:
“The event is designed to make businesses more aware of ADS and its services and how the region can benefit from new opportunities for employment and economic growth. Those who attend will find out about how their business can benefit from the industry.”
HIE states on its website that its 4 priorities are:
- Supporting businesses and social enterprises to shape and realise their growth aspirations
- Strengthening communities and fragile areas
- Developing growth sectors, particularly distinctive regional opportunities
- Creating the conditions for a competitive and low-carbon region
Funded by the Scottish Government HIE is charged with delivering the objectives of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy. You can find who they have invested in here.
The Motion lodged by John Finnie is as follows:
That the Parliament is concerned that Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is promoting how the region can benefit from opportunities in the defence industries; understands that HIE is hosting a workshop in Inverness, which will promote defence industries; believes that the event is being organised in consort with ADS Scotland, which describes itself as the premier trade organisation for companies in the UK aerospace, defence, security and space sectors; considers that public funds should not be used to support industries that produce weapons that can be used to maim and kill innocent civilians, and calls on the Scottish Government to review its agencies’ policies on the promotion of such organisations and for HIE to cancel this event