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4/4/17

Britain: As Theresa May flies out to Saudi Arabia, we should beware of Britain's new Brexit allies - by A. Smith

It’s been three months since Theresa May called for Brexit to be the birth of “a truly global Britain” and we’re starting to see what that actually means. Over recent months, we have seen Government ministers amassing huge numbers of air miles in a bid to form new trading relationships and strengthen older ones

This week Theresa May is making her first international visits since triggering Article 50 – and unfortunately it tells us a lot about where she sees the UK’s post-Brexit future lying. Today she flies into Jordan, and tomorrow she’s off to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a visit that she hopes will “herald a further intensification” in relations between the UK and the two countries.

The timing is certainly controversial. Last week marked the second anniversary of the terrible bombardment Saudi forces have led against Yemen. UK arms have been central to the destruction, with over £3 billion worth of military equipment having been licensed to the Saudi regime since the bombardment began. The impact has been deadly, with over 10,000 having been killed and 17 million people being left food-insecure and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Research by UNICEF shows that the conflict has created a situation in which a child is dying of preventable causes every 10 minutes.

Despite the horrific backdrop, Whitehall is working with BAE Systems to sell even more of the same fighter jets that are currently flying over Yemen.

This is not the first controversial state visit May has made since taking office. Last December she flew out to Bahrain for the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting, in which she used Brexit as a pretext for a to call to “go even further” in working with the Gulf dictatorships.

Note EU-Digest: Brexit seems to have forced Theresa May to seek
strange "bed-fellows".

Read more: Britain's new Brexit allies | The Independent

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