Categories

Foreign affairs

A global future

Policies in this section only affect the UK.

We support the UK being an outward looking country that supports free trade and globalisation. This means strengthening the United Nations, signing new free trade deals and joining the European Free Trade Association.

Sections:

Require a vote by the House of Commons on all new Free Trade Deals and trade deals. Whenever a new free trade deal or trade deal is agreed, the UK parliament must agree to the new deal. This will ensure the house of commons always has the final say over these deals.

Strengthen the United Nations. We believe that the United Nations needs to be streamlined and strengthened. This would first include making it more accountable by creating a new directly elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and a council of ministers where all members can propose new bills. It would then be strengthened by amalgamating the International Standards Organisation, CODEX and the WTO into the United Nations regional bodies.

Apply to be an Observer Member of the Nordic Council. We feel that the UK should join the Nordic council as an associated member as long as this doesn’t involve free movement. As the UK would be copying the Nordic model in much of its economic and state structures, it is only right that the UK deepens cooperation with these countries. If the UK leaves the EU it would provide the UK with continued ties to the Nordic countries, something EFTA membership would also help to strengthen.

Our foreign aid budget Should be 1% of Gross National Income. We believe in increasing our aid budget slightly from its current level of 0.7% of GNP to 1% of GNP. We also support a review into how the UK’s foreign aid spending can be improved and where it should be invested.

Allow asylum seekers to work. Currently, most asylum seekers aren’t allowed to work meaning they are forced to rely on the small amount of money given to them by the government. This can mean asylum seekers are pushed into poverty but also that this system unnecessarily costs the taxpayer money. This should also include those who are refused asylum in the UK but aren’t able to return home at that time.

A fairer immigration system. Our proposed immigration system would be split into two core parts, those coming to the UK for social reasons and those coming to the UK for employment reasons. For those coming for social reasons we would prioritise people coming for family reunification.

To decide the criteria for workers wanting to move to the UK the government should consult with businesses, public services and a yearly debate in parliament. This parliamentary debate willalso be used to decide the maximum immigration cap each year.

Remove students from immigration statistics. This is due to the high numbers of students that leave the UK after their studies are completed and that students also often only stay a few years.

A referendum on membership of the EU’s Single Market. We support negotiations and then a binding referendum on re-joining the single market and the European Free Trade Association. This would also include passporting rights and access to EU programs. The UK would have a say over this new agreement with a seat in the advisory EFTA court, the EFTA council, a veto over new EU laws and safeguarding measures which can be used on areas such as restricting free movement or state aid rules. This arrangement also includes a set of opt-outs. We would be outside the Common Agricultural policy, the common fisheries policy, the EU’s security policies, EU foreign policy, justice policies and home affairs policies. The UK would also be able still be able to make its own free trade deals as it wouldn’t be part of the EU’s Customs Union. We would also only pay the EU for EU programs we take part in, payments to poorer EU countries and payments for EFTA membership.

Defence:

Meet our NATO spending commitments. Unless the UK is at war, we should continue to maintain our spending commitment to NATO and ensure we spend 2% of the UKs GDP on defence. Unless there is a situation in which military spending needs to be increased 2% of GDP is likely to be the military budget for the foreseeable future.

A northern defence strategy. This will mean working closely with the Nordic countries to secure Northern Europe against potential aggression. This would also include strengthening the new ‘Defence Arctic Strategy’ with Iceland and Norway. Included in this strategy will be new joint programs, to help secure the North Atlantic against submarines, help to enable the Nordic countries to defend themselves more effectively and possibly offer any equipment the armed forces can’t use.

This both spreads out any potential Russian attack and protects US reinforcements. Potential countries the UK could work with include the Nordic countries and the Baltic countries. Some of these countries are not members of NATO, have low levels of spending or are not members of the EU. This would both be an opportunity to build closer military links with these countries, take part in joint programs and allow us to persuade these countries to increase their spending on defence.

Give military personnel more support by reducing the size of the military. We believe that the size of the army should be reduced over time whilst the funding levels will remain the same. Both new technology and there being no large-scale conflicts makes a larger army unnecessary. Rather than being through redundancies, it would simply be a case of hiring fewer new military personnel. This would focus more on quality rather than quantity, a smaller number of military personnel but better equipped and supported. This would give greater ability to improve vocational education within the army, housing, pay, equipment and care for veterans.

Stop selling arms to countries that abuse human rights. This would include countries on the government’s list of human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan and Egypt. We would halt the sales of weapons to these countries until they respect human rights. In Saudi Arabia, the ongoing arms sales have helped to destabilise the Middle East further. We are, however, heartened by the reforms to the country being led by Prince Mohammad bin Salman although these need to go further before we feel arms sales could be restarted to the country.

Keep only a minimal nuclear deterrent. The reality is that we live in an uncertain world where nations that are hostile or potentially hostile to the UK strive to obtain such weapons for themselves. Unilateral disarmament will both leave us as a target without our own deterrent and will lose the UK international standing. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to retain a nuclear defence system to act as a deterrent. Although keeping some level of deterrent is necessary, we support keeping the number of nuclear warheads the UK has at a minimum. Decreases can be achieved both through agreements that involve other countries also reducing their nuclear stockpiles along with the reduction of our own stockpile until it is as low as possible whilst still being a deterrent. We would also keep under review the costs and utility of our nuclear defence system in the future. We furthermore support keeping our submarines on which nuclear weapons are housed up to date and therefore we support the Dreadnought replacement for the vanguard submarines.