We live in turbulent times. The rise of ISIL, an aggressive Russia threatening its neighbours in eastern Europe, and continuing economic uncertainty in the Eurozone are each a challenge to our national security.
Labour is an internationalist party and believes Britain must play a proactive role in the world. We will strengthen our national security, stand up for human rights, and work with other countries to tackle terrorism, climate change, and work to eliminate extreme poverty globally.
Labour will take a multilateral approach to global challenges
- We will advance our international engagement, rather than retreating into isolation. Britain has a unique influence in the world. We are the only country that is a member of the UN Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the G20 and the G7. We will conduct a wide-ranging review of Britain’s place in the world and how we can best uphold our values and the national interest.
- We will continue to honour the UK’s commitment to support Afghanistan as it seeks to secure an inclusive and durable political settlement.
- We will set up an Asia Step-Change Taskforce and we will continue to advocate an EU that looks outward to promote stability, peace and prosperity on its borders.
- We will work with our allies to counter and confront terrorism. It was right that the UK joined other nations in air strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq, but military action alone will not defeat ISIL. A long-term multinational political strategy, with regional actors playing a central role, is essential for tackling the rise of extremism across the region. As well as taking action when it is right to do so, we must learn lessons of previous military interventions.
- We remain committed to a comprehensive two-state solution in the Middle East, with a secure Israel alongside a viable and independent state of Palestine. We will continue to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations towards a diplomatic resolution.
- We will establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage-Change Taskforce to develop a more strategic and effective dialogue with regional partners, including China, both in the commercial realm and in other areas, from cultural exchange to human rights.
- We will support human rights, always putting individual freedom and democracy at the heart of our foreign policy.
- We will continue to promote women’s rights. We will join with those campaigning to attain gender equality, the eradication of poverty and inclusive economic growth.
- We will appoint a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom, and establish a multi-faith advisory council on religious freedom within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- We will appoint an International LGBT Rights Envoy to promote respect for the human rights of LGBT people, and work towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality worldwide.
Globalisation has increased connectivity between countries and people, as global challenges increasingly demand global solutions. We’re also competing in a world with billion-person countries and trillion-dollar economies; being a member of the European Union allows us to magnify our voice.
Instead of building upon Britain’s role in addressing global challenges, David Cameron has been content to watch from the sidelines. Time and time again he has put his Party before his country – he is sleepwalking Britain towards exit from the European Union, trying to keep his Party in line while putting British jobs at risk.
EU membership has a crucial role to play in bringing jobs and investment to the North East. In our region we take more funding out of Europe than we put in, something most people haven’t realised. More than 140,000 North East jobs depend on EU trade, of which 12,500 are in the borough of Stockton.
Louise visited a farm in Maltby recently with Paul Brannen MEP and met some farmers with the NFU to talk about their issues. They were all keen that we should stay in the European Union.
Mr Wharton’s European referendum bill threatened to bring about uncertainty for investors in our region, endangering new jobs from companies like Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe that we vitally need.
Labour will work to change the EU in the best interests of Britain
- We will work to focus the EU on jobs and growth, the completion of the single market and tougher budget discipline, including on those items where spending at the EU level can save money at the national level. We will not join the Euro.
- We will drive reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and a Commission-led zero-based review of spending on EU agencies to reduce waste and inefficiency.
- We will help to introduce sensible measures at an EU level to protect the rights of British workers,and we remain committed to fighting to protect these measures.
- We will secure reforms to immigration and social security rules, as well as pushing for stronger transitional controls to enable member states to have a longer period of control over the flow of workers when new countries join.
- We will continue to open up EU decision-making and implement institutional reforms to help build levels of trust among European citizens.
- We will work to strengthen national parliaments’ influence over European legislation by arguing for a ‘red-card mechanism’ for member states, providing greater parliamentary scrutiny.
- We will legislate for a lock that guarantees that there can be no transfer of powers from Britain to the European Union without the consent of the British public through an in/out referendum.
Our NE Labour MEPs, Jude and Paul, are already doing excellent work standing up for our region in the European Parliament and campaigning for a reformed, fairer EU.
As your MP Louise would work with our MEPs, Tees Valley Unlimited, and other organisations to ensure Teesside gets the best deal from Europe.
Labour will work to eliminate extreme poverty globally
- We will work with other countries at this year’s Sustainable Development Goals Summit to unite the world to eradicate extreme poverty, tackle growing economic inequality and place human rights at the heart of development.
- We will work in fragile and conflict-affected states to rebuild the lives of those affected by violence,prioritising the protection and education of women and children.
- We will rebalance the budget to focus funding on the world’s poorest countries.
- We will establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage to provide the support, encouragement, and global partnerships needed to help countries provide free healthcare.
- We will lead work to reshape the UN humanitarian system to better equip it to save lives.
- We will extend the sharing of tax information to developing countries, increase DFID’s help to governments to collect more of their own taxes, tackle corruption and ensure good governance.
- We will work with companies to ensure they have sustainable supply chains that are free from slavery, treat their workers fairly and pay taxes where they are due.
Labour will put climate change at the centre of our foreign policy
- We will push for an ambitious agreement on climate change at the UNFCCC conference in Paris in December.
- We will make the case for ambitious emissions targets for all countries, strengthened every five years on the basis of a scientific assessment of the progress towards the 2C goal. And we will push for a goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century, for transparent and universal rules for measuring, verifying and reporting emissions, and for an equitable deal in which richer countries provide support to poorer nations in combating climate change.