Home Office ordered to pay £224m to US missile company

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In the week that the Home Office have been told to pay £224m (€280.3m) in damages to US corporation, Raytheon, whose contract it terminated for failing to deliver a controversial secure e-borders programme, hundreds of protesters from across Scotland and the UK have marched on a Raytheon factory in Glenrothes, Fife calling for an end to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction in the town.

The demonstration was organised after reports were leaked that the Fife factory produces weapon components that are contributing to the killing of thousands of civilians in the Gaza strip.  Raytheon is the world’s largest producer of guided missiles, which have used been by Israel Defence Forces.

A Raytheon spokesperson said, “The company does not comment on geopolitical situations.”

The e-borders programme launched by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2003 was a £1bn (€1.25bn) attempt to reform border controls. Raytheon were awarded a nine-year contract for the programme in 2007.

The coalition government terminated the contract in 2010 with the US defence corporation, amidst claimsthat the programme was failing after it fell a year behind schedule.

Raytheon blamed failings on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and threatened to sue ministers for £500m(€625m), before the two sides entered into binding arbitration to reach a settlement.

The arbitration tribunal did not pass judgement on whether Raytheon had failed to meet its contractual obligations – but did criticise UKBA officials for failing to properly brief the home secretary on whether the company had an arguable case to hold on to the deal.

The full ruling has not been made public, but the tribunal said the Home Office should make the following payments to Raytheon:

£50m (€62m) in damages for ending the contract

£126m (€157m) for assets the company delivered prior to being sacked, such as IT systems

£10m (€12m) to settle complaints relating to changes to the original contract

£38m (€47m) in interest payments

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