Defending the Future - UK Defence in the 21st Century

Liberal Democrats today passed the policy Defending the Future, pushing for the UK to reassess its role in the world and ensure that ambitions match resources, responding to 21st century threats, not those of the Cold War.

This motion asserts that the Government must provide a secure UK in a stable neighbourhood and maintain strong international relations.
 
Key proposals include:
  • Ending Continuous-at-Sea-nuclear-Deterrence and adopting a realistic, credible ‘Contingency Posture’
  • Tightening the UK’s arms export regime by implementing end-user certification on all future arms export licences and enacting legislation to control the re-export of British arms
  • Lengthening period between resigning from the civil service and working in the industry, in line with rules applied to politicians leaving office
  • Looking to rectify the situation in which Gurkha veterans in the UK have a pension entitlement for pre-1997 service of only one quarter that of other veterans.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey said:
 
“The world has changed and we no longer need Britain’s nuclear weapons on constant patrol poised to flatten Moscow. While we cannot predict the future, scaling down our nuclear capability and making this first move on the road to disarmament is the right thing to do.
 
“The Lib Dems made the Trident Alternatives Review happen and we are the only party to look at the bigger picture and question the logic of maintaining our Cold War-era nuclear deterrent for decades to come. Today, as a party, we have signalled our wish to move down the nuclear ladder and make a radical break away from our absurdly outdated current posture.”

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