BAE Systems and the University of Essex Motion

The following motion was passed at a quorate branch meeting on 14th February 2024.

This branch notes:

  • BAE Systems is the largest weapons manufacturer in Europe. They make parts for the F-35 aircraft, which the Israeli military has used in the bombing of Gaza.
  • The University of Essex has confirmed that, due to the Statement of Investment and Banking Principles, there are no investments in, or borrowing of money from, BAE Systems due to the nature of its business activities as a weapons manufacturer. However, there are relationships that the university allows under academic freedom within the law.
  • There are research and teaching relationships with BAE systems, including Computer Science and Electronic Engineering Apprenticeships. Demilitarise Education is awaiting a response to Freedom of Information requests on investments, academic partnership policy, and academic partnerships.

This branch believes:

  • The International Court of Justice has issued an order on the prevention of genocide in Gaza, which could have important implications for the supply of arms to Israel.
  • Academic freedom can have limits in terms of support for or facilitation of genocide.

This branch resolves:

  • To organise an information-sharing event with Demilitarise Education in March 2024, open to staff and students at the University of Essex.
  • To explore the limits to academic free speech in relation to the arms industry and law.
  • To campaign against any relationship with BAE that contravenes the Statement of Investment and Banking Principles, international law, or any other limits within the law.
  • To discuss the issue and any campaign with Unite and other relevant unions.

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