CND condemns composite motion 1 DEFENCE, passed at Labour Party conference which commits any future Labour government to the continuation of Tory policies on increased military spending, nuclear weapons, and the AUKUS pact, which poses a nuclear proliferation risk, as well as driving a new arms race in the Indo-Pacific.
The motion reaffirmed Labour’s “absolute” support for Britain’s nuclear weapons and NATO spending commitments, deepening military ties in the Indo-Pacific and Europe, as well as promising to increase the British military manufacturing base.
Military spending is already escalating significantly, now well over the NATO requirement of 2% GDP; a substantial proportion of this is being spent on nuclear weapons. This includes £205 billion currently being spent on replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system. This money can be better used to restore the country’s crumbling infrastructure, schools and hospitals, and creating thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector rather than in making more weapons.
While the motion promises that a Labour government would take “an active role” in international efforts to reduce nuclear tensions and promote strategic arms limitation and nuclear disarmament, it is clear that Labour’s defence policy is rooted firmly in maintaining the Tory status quo.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
“While Labour is paying lip service to nuclear disarmament, its defence policy offers nothing different from the one set out by the Tories. Pouring billions of pounds into more military manufacturing only fuels war and benefits arms companies, not the British public. If Labour in government is genuinely committed to taking an ‘active role’ in reducing nuclear tensions and leading the way on arms limitation, it must reforge a vision of peace, supporting dialogue, diplomacy and conflict resolution without killing. Pledging absolute support for nuclear weapons doesn’t augur well for Labour-led progress on nuclear disarmament.”
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