Minister rebuke ‘woke’ investors for shunning the UK’s defence sector

Global threats: There are concerns that arms makers are being excluded from access to funds

Ministers last night threw their weight behind investment in Britain’s defence sector in a rebuke to the woke agenda of some investors who have shunned it.

In a joint statement, the Treasury and the Investment Association, the asset management industry trade body, said the defence industry was compatible with sustainable investing amid rising global threats.

There are concerns that arms makers are being excluded from access to funds by investors who cite Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, conflict in the Middle East and tensions between China and Taiwan have pushed Western governments to put a renewed focus on defence spending. 

The joint statement said: ‘Investing in defence companies contributes to our national security, defends the civil liberties we all enjoy, while delivering long-term returns for pensions funds and retail investors.

‘That is why the UK’s world-leading investment management industry supports our defence sector, with the Investment Association’s members having invested £35billion in UK defence companies.

‘Investing in good, high-quality, well-run defence companies is compatible with ESG considerations as long-term sustainable investment is about helping all sectors and all companies in the economy succeed.’

And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would lift defence spending to 2.5 per cent of national income to reach £87billion a year by 2030.