Labour members vote to condemn the AUKUS defence pact

Labour members vote to CONDEMN the AUKUS defence pact and claim it ‘undermines world peace’ just hours after shadow defence secretary John Healey said that with Keir Starmer as PM ‘Britain will no longer be half-hearted about essential alliances’

  • Labour members voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent to condemn AUKUS pact
  • They backed a motion which said the submarine deal ‘undermines world peace’ 
  • Hours earlier the shadow defence secretary stressed importance of alliances
  • John Healey said under Labour UK would ‘no longer be half-hearted’ about allies

Labour members have voted overwhelmingly to condemn the UK’s new defence pact with the US and Australia as they claimed it ‘undermines world peace’. 

Activists attending the party’s annual conference voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent to urge Sir Keir Starmer to oppose the AUKUS deal which will see Australia secure its first ever fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. 

The vote came just hours after shadow defence secretary John Healey said that under a Labour government ‘Britain will no longer be half-hearted about essential alliances and treaties’. 

The vote represents a moment of political embarrassment for Sir Keir who welcomed the AUKUS pact and said it ‘makes Britain safer’ and ‘makes the world safer’.   

Shadow defence secretary John Healey said that under a Labour government ‘Britain will no longer be half-hearted about essential alliances and treaties’

Activists attending the party’s annual conference in Brighton voted by 70 per cent to 30 per cent to urge Sir Keir Starmer to oppose the AUKUS deal

The AUKUS deal will see the three nations share military technologies such as artificial intelligence, cyber defence, quantum computing and long-range strike capabilities.

The submarine element of the agreement sparked a furious backlash from France because Canberra walked away from an existing deal with Paris for a fleet of diesel-electric submarines.  

China also reacted with anger to the deal, with Beijing viewing the shifted emphasis to the Indo-Pacific region as a provocation. 

Labour members today voted on an emergency motion at conference to condemn the pact. 

The motion stated: ‘Conference believes that in contradiction to Tory PM Johnson’s statement that “this will promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region”, in fact, this is a dangerous move which will undermine world peace.’

It added: ‘Conference resolves to oppose the AUKUS agreement and make appropriate moves to de-escalate the situation.’ 

The motion was approved by 70.35 per cent to 29.65 per cent at the conference in Brighton. 

The vote came just hours after Mr Healey used his big speech to try to rebuild Labour’s security and defence credentials. 

He said: ‘With Labour and Keir Starmer, the country will get the leadership to forge a new and powerful role for Britain in the world.

‘Britain will be democracy’s most reliable ally. Britain will no longer be half-hearted about essential alliances and treaties, in the UN, NATO, Five Eyes, International Court of Justice. 

The AUKUS deal will see the three nations share military technologies such as artificial intelligence, cyber defence, quantum computing and long-range strike capabilities

‘Britain will forge a flexible geometry of new alliances where needed for our national security and international stability.’  

The conference vote was slammed by the GMB union, which warned opposition to the pact ‘undermines industries where jobs are under threat’.  

GMB regional secretary Hazel Nolan said Labour conference has ‘proven itself to be out of touch and on the wrong side of job creation once again’.

She added: ‘This deal could be a real opportunity for UK manufacturing. To dismiss it out of hand is nonsense.

‘If it ever wants to be in power, Labour needs to get back to its roots and speak up for jobs and the concerns of working people.’

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