We live in an insecure world, and inevitably face a complex range of threats. Today’s threats differ from those we faced in the past. From
fragile and conflict-affected states, to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, traditional military responses are no longer sufficient to counter
the most difficult security challenges of today.
However, the Government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review was a missed opportunity. Instead of asking what could be done to meet our strategic security goals, it began by asking what could be cut, resulting in gaps in our military capacity and failing our armed forces. Meanwhile, David Cameron has diminished many of the European mechanisms which enable us to effectively fight cross-border crime.
In an uncertain landscape, our defence and security policies need to offer certainty and stability. In this economic climate we will have to be
strategic with the defence budget and work closely with our allies if we are to achieve our aims. We want to see a strong, high-tech Armed Forces equipped for the challenges of the 21st Century with an ability to tackle emerging, interconnected threats.
At the core of Labour’s defence policy is supporting our Forces, veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to protect our country.
The next Labour Government will also strengthen cross-border collaboration on crime and justice. We believe cooperation with our friends on crime and intelligence is vital to making Britain’s streets safer.
We want to see a proper framework for police forces to work together across borders and we will continue to support the European Arrest
Warrant which has brought so many criminals to justice.
• Conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015 to equip our Armed Forces to meet the most difficult modern security challenges.
• Further Britain’s defence cooperation with NATO and European partners, particularly in training and procurement.
• Introduce legislation to outlaw the discrimination and abuse of members of the Armed Forces.
• Support the creation of an Armed Forces credit union, addressing the specific needs of Forces families.
• Support pan-European measures for cooperation on crime, including the European Arrest Warrant.
• Botched defence procurement under David Cameron’s watch has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.
• The trained strength of the Army Reserve rose by only 20 between 2013 and 2014 despite the Government’s costly recruitment campaign.