BRITAIN doesn’t only love Spain’s weather, it also loves its weapons.
A report from the Spanish department of commerce shows that the UK is the biggest buyer of Spanish arms and military equipment in the world.
In 2016 the British government spent €1.347 billion on Spanish artillery, purchasing 33.2 per cent of Madrid’s total military exports, which amounted to a record €4 billion, up 8.9 per cent on 2015. Weapons accounted for 1.6 per cent of all Spanish exports last year, which raked in €254 billion.
Britain tops a weapons export list that is largely dominated by middle eastern and Muslim dictatorships. Egypt comes a distant second, buying €213 million of Spanish military gear, Saudi Arabia spent €116 million and war-torn Iraq €38 million. Only Germany rivalled the UK, buying €771 million of equipment.
Israel, Afghanistan and Turkey each spent hundreds of millions of euros but none hold a candle to the UK, which itself is one of the world’s biggest arms dealers. Britain bought four A440M transport aircraft and two MRTT in-flight refueling aircraft from Spain, as well as parts of a EF-2000 fighter jet.
The bulk of British purchases were made under EU armament programs. There is no concern that Brexit will stop the deals going through but the UK departing the EU is expected to jeopardise future agreements.