Labour Party 2015 Manifesto: “Commitment to universal human rights will be at the heart of our foreign policy across the world.“
The Labour party’s manifesto, released today, states: “Peace and security in the Middle East are one of Labour’s most important foreign policy objectives.” But how do they plan to achieve this?
First, to remain committed to a two-state solution in which a secure Israel stands alongside a viable, independent 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. Labour will continue to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations leading to a diplomatic resolution.”
The manifesto addresses increasing challenges to security from terrorism and pledges to make communities safer by countering extremism. British people will stand together to confront threats such as the hundreds of British citizens who have joined the Islamic State (ISIS).
Labour has pledged to subject dangerous suspects to “proper controls” and implement a more rigorous strategy for people returning from Syria that includes appropriate police action, prosecution and undergoing de-radicalisation programmes. They also want to update and strengthen powers of investigative laws, strengthen the oversight of intelligence agencies and engage with the personal, cultural and wider factors that turn young people to extremism.
The Prevent Programme, set up under Labour, will be overhauled “to involve communities in countering extremist propaganda, stopping young people being groomed and also building resilient institutions for social integration.”
The manifesto states that the UK was right to join airstrikes against ISIS, “but military action alone” will not be enough to defeat them; rather a long-term, multinational, political strategy is needed.
“A Labour government will always do what is necessary to defend our country. Beyond self-defence, Labour has been clear about the need to learn the lessons of previous interventions, especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq. We will continue the approach we have taken in this parliament. A Labour government would not propose the use of military force without judging whether reasonable diplomatic efforts have been exhausted, the action is proportionate and in partnership with allies, whether there is a clear legal basis, and if there is a clear plan, not just for winning the war but also for building a lasting peace.”
On Syrian refugees the manifesto says that Britain will work with the UN to support vulnerable refugees from Syria in keeping with Britain’s international obligations to provide refuge for those fleeing persecution.