THE UK Government has licenced more than £3.4 billion worth of killer weapons and military to Qatar, new analysis has shown, sparking allegations Britain is “complicit” in the country’s “appalling human rights record”.

Figures collated by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (Caat) show the government has approved licences to export bombs, ammunition, and aircraft – among other items – to be sent to the authoritarian regime in the last 12 years.

Equipment approved to be sent to the country, which is the host of this year’s World Cup, also includes machine guns, weapon sights, assault rifles and riot shields, the figures show.

The National: The England team landed in Qatar on Tuesday The England team landed in Qatar on Tuesday (Image: AP)

The numbers do not relate to the value of items actually sent, because this is not public information.

Instead, they refer to the value specified in export licences issued by the government, which means the goods could have been exported in full, in part or not at all.

READ MORE: Date for indyref2 Supreme Court judgement revealed

However, there have been 138 unlimited-value licences approved since 2010 – including for aircraft cannons, missiles and rockets, the figures show.

Unlimited-value licences mean it is not possible to know how many of the goods were exported and how much they are worth.

Caat collated the data from the quarterly reports of the UK export control joint unit, which are published publicly by the Department for International Trade.

The value of licences jumped dramatically in 2022, the research found, reaching a high of £2.6bn this year.

Qatar’s shocking human rights record has marked this year’s World Cup, which kicks off on Sunday.

The National:

A US State Department report on the emirate from 2011 found evidence migrant workers were being forced into “involuntary servitude” through Qatar’s sponsorship system – which has since been overhauled.

Workers were recruited from other countries and then placed under draconian restrictions by their employers, whom the report found had licence to make threats of serious financial or physical harm, withhold pay and restrict the workers’ freedom of movement.

READ MORE: Wings Over Scotland's Twitter account suspended AGAIN

But analysis from The Guardian last February found more than 6500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in the decade since the country was awarded the World Cup.

That worked out at an average of 12 workers per week since 2011, the paper said, despite improvements in the country’s laws protecting migrant workers instituted in 2015.

The Scottish Greens have highlighted the UK’s links to the country’s repressive regime – where homosexuality, preaching religions other than Islam and sex outside of marriage are all illegal.

Flogging is used as a punishment for adultery and Amnesty International reported that in 2012, at least six foreign nationals in the country were sentenced to floggings of either 40 or 100 lashes.

Ross Greer, the Greens’ external affairs spokesperson, said the regime had been able to inflict “atrocities and abuse” because of the support of governments including the UK.

He said: “The World Cup has given the Qatari dictatorship a huge propaganda platform. But it has also put their appalling human rights record under the microscope like never before.  

"One reason why the regime has been able to inflict the atrocities and abuses that it has against LGBT+ people, women, migrant workers and others is because of the vast international support it has received from complicit governments like the one in Westminster.  

READ MORE: Eight rallies to be held across Scotland on Supreme Court indyref2 judgement day

“These abuses have been happening for years, and Downing Street has armed and supported the regime every step of the way.

“Every time the UK government approves an arms sale it is complicit in the suffering of ordinary people in Qatar.  

“It is also sending a loud and clear message that the rights of Qatari people and human rights defenders don't matter, that their lives are less important than arms company profits.”

He added: “The UK Government must halt these sales and end its support of a regime with such a horrendous record of human rights abuses. To do otherwise is to be knowingly complicit in the oppression and violence.”

The UK Government was approached for comment.