Labour Manifesto 2017:
Labour recognises that, in leaving the EU, Britain will face both challenges and opportunities. We are deeply ambitious for our country’s future and will draw on our international networks to make Britain a champion of multilateral engagement. We will invest in the UK’s diplomatic services, rebuilding some of the key capabilities lost as a result of Tory cuts.
Since the Second World War, Britain’s most important diplomatic relationship has been with the US. But that special relationship is based on shared values. When the current Trump administration chooses to ignore them, whether by discriminating on the basis of religion or breaking its climate change commitments, we will not be afraid to disagree.
From the Middle East to Africa, in recent years millions of people have been killed, injured or displaced through wars, terrorism and military intervention. In Syria alone, more than 400,000 people have been killed. Labour will work tirelessly to end the conflict and get the diplomatic process back on track, while fully supporting international efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict the perpetrators of war crimes.
Labour is strongly committed to reducing human suffering caused by war. We will publish a strategy for protecting civilians in conflict, setting out detailed plans for work on conflict prevention and resolution, post- conflict peace building, and justice for the victims of war crimes. Labour has created a Minister for Peace and Disarmament to lead this work.
Labour is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine. There can be no military solution to this conflict and all sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve. That means both an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements, and an end to rocket and terror attacks. Labour will continue to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations leading to a diplomatic resolution. A Labour government will immediately recognise the state of Palestine.
We will also urge negotiations towards a political resolution in all other regions currently experiencing conflict, including Kashmir, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, and give our strong support to those countries already working to end decades of division, including Colombia, Cyprus and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In other regions, including the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, rising tensions threaten global peace. Under a Labour government, Britain will work to reduce those tensions through an insistence on multilateral political dialogue.
From Afghanistan and Iraq to the streets of European cities, Daesh continues to commit acts of indiscriminate barbarism. We will take all lawful action necessary to counter and confront this evil, and we will advocate a long-term multinational political strategy, led by regional actors, to tackle the spread of extremism.
In our discussions with different governments, including China, Egypt, the Gulf States, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russia and Turkey, we will urge respect for human rights and the rule of law. We will review all training and equipment contracts with repressive regimes, to ensure that Britain never colludes in the mistreatment of civilians.
We will always stand up for the rights, interests and self-determination of Britain’s overseas territories and their citizens, whether protecting the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands against anyone who would seek to challenge it, or supporting the right of the Chagos islanders to return to their homelands.
We will reclaim Britain’s leading role in tackling climate change, working hard to preserve the Paris Agreement and deliver on international commitments to reduce emissions while mitigating the impacts of climate change on developing countries.
While strengthening our commitment to the UN, we also acknowledge its shortcomings, particularly in light of repeated abuses of the veto power by some permanent members of the UN Security Council. We will work with our international partners to build support for UN reform and make its institutions more effective and responsive. We will appoint dedicated global ambassadors for women’s rights, LGBT rights and religious freedom to fight discrimination and promote equality globally.
Exports, trade and investment play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in Britain, and Labour supports the considerable contribution that a responsible, world-leading defence and security industry makes to the UK economy. However, we also believe that strong export controls have a vital role to play in sustaining a legitimate trade in arms, while protecting UK jobs and R&D. Labour will therefore implement the Arms Trade Treaty to a consistently high standard, including ceasing arms exports to countries where there is concern that they will be used to violate international humanitarian law (IHL).
In particular, Labour will demand a comprehensive, independent, UN-led investigation into alleged violations of IHL in Yemen, including air strikes on civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. We will immediately suspend any further arms sales for use in the conflict until that investigation is concluded.
Labour remains committed to an independent inquiry into Britain’s military role in the 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.