Show some common sense
If British contractors wish to work abroad, they are required to comply with local customs and conditions or they won't be selected. It's as simple as that. So the pragmatic decision is to comply. Bear in mind that many countries have entirely different cultures and values from ours, and consequently many things which may seem to be wrong to us do not to them.
Anyone remember the 'Arms for Aid' issue some 25 years ago where The Times accused the Prime Minister of Malaysia of accepting a bribe from our Maggie. As a result of The Times refusal to retract, Malaysia completely stopped trading with UK and that trade went elsewhere never to be recovered. Tell me, what was gained? My friends in Malaysia could not understand our stupidity, and The Times reporter who broke the story carried no responsibility for the consequences of his actions.
In the case of BAe and Saudi, if BAe had not complied with the local requirements, then they would not have been selected and the contract would have gone elsewhere such as US, France or even Russia. The aircraft etc. would still have been supplied. The same applies in many countries where any type of contractor wishes to tender for work such as construction, etc., etc.
Do all the righteous posters here expect that we should just roll over and let other countries with less sensitive consciences get all the work overseas in countries with different practices from ours, in which case we would all be a bit poorer to no purpose. Or should we just do the obvious thing, act pragmatically and oil the wheels of successful overseas contracting.
To the Liberal Democrats, I say you have lost my vote. Mr. Blair has my support in this, he was taking care of British interests.
I speak as a well travelled construction engineer, not particularly in favour of war and violence to resolve things, but not a rabid pacifist either. After all, where would we be if we had not stood up to Germany in the second World War and subsequently to Communism?