BRIEFING: Uncovering Britain's Debt Secrets (July 2011)
This briefing outlines Jubilee Debt Campaign's efforts to uncover the truth about the £2 billion developing countries owe as a result Britain's dodgy deals.
It is a year since the launch of Jubilee Debt Campaign’s Dodgy Deals campaign to clean up the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). In that time, thousands of people across the UK have found out about the ECGD’s history of creating unjust developing country debts as a result of supporting failed UK exports.
Developing countries owe over £2 billion of debt to the ECGD, but almost nothing is known about how these debts were created – despite many of them arising from deals with some of the world’s most notorious dictators. Since the start of 2011, the movements for democracy across the Middle East and North Africa have injected new urgency into the campaign. Egypt has joined the list of countries whose dictators have left power, but whose debts to the UK still remain.
This briefing outlines the ECGD’s extraordinary and incoherent failure to release vital facts about these debts into the public domain. It shows the growing support for a debt audit – a full investigation of what the debts owed to the UK were originally contracted for, and whether they benefited the people of that country – across the political spectrum, and examines the response from the UK Government so far.