Starmer Gives Marching Orders: New UK Defence Plans Leave Corbyn’s Era in the Dust

During Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party, the party was seen as weak on defence. Corbyn was against nuclear arms and vowed never to use them. Keir Starmer is keen to put distance between his attitude towards defence and that of the former Labour leader. 

Starmer Committed to NATO

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In 2022, Starmer visited NATO headquarters in Brussels, designed to show solidarity with the defence organisation should Labour win power in the election. He criticised his predecessor’s attitude to NATO, saying Corbyn was “wrong” about it.

Visit to NATO Troops 

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In March 2022, he visited NATO troops in Estonia. He said: “We are talking to the troops about their operations and taking the opportunity to thank them for the work they are doing.” He also wanted to prove Labour’s “unshakeable commitment to NATO”.

Tour of Defence Industry Continued

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Starmer visited the BAE Systems factory in April, where the UK’s nuclear submarines are built. During his visit, he said, “In the face of rising global threats and growing Russian aggression, the UK’s nuclear deterrent is the bedrock of Labour’s plan to keep Britain safe.”

All a Show of Will

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So much of politics is theatre, and Starmer is going above and beyond to show that Labour can be trusted to be firm in defending the country and our international allies. 

Got to Win Over Doubters

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Under Corbyn’s leadership, several of the current shadow cabinet members voted against maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons. That was eight years ago, and to some, the doubts about Labour’s commitment to defence remain.

Starmer Re-Iterates Change in Defence Policy

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Keir Starmer will keep repeating his message about how his attitude is different from Jeremy Corbyn’s. In a speech today, he said, “In my changed Labour party, national security will always come first.”

Starmer Voted to Maintain UK Nuclear Deterrent

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Despite political rivals pointing out that several of his cabinet members voted to remove the nuclear deterrent under Corbyn, Starmer himself voted to maintain it. As the party leader, this is a big win for him because it shows his long-standing opinion is not swayed by polling. 

Labour Has Ex-Military Standing 

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One political weapon they have is the 14 ex-military personnel standing for them nationwide in the upcoming general election. 

Shadow Defence Secretary Supports Starmer Stance 

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Shadow defence secretary John Healey said that when appointing him to the role, Keir Starmer “never again will Labour go into an election not trusted on national security”.

Starmer Says National Security Most Important Issue

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Starmer said: “Sadly, the world we live in today is perhaps more dangerous and volatile than ever since then. The post-war era is over, and a new age of insecurity has begun. National security is the “most important issue of our times”.

Previous Experience in Defending the Country

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In a previous role, Starmer was the director of public prosecutions. In this role, he worked closely with security and intelligence services on national security issues.

Starmer Outlines His Work on National Security

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Talking about his role as the director of public prosecutions, he said: “I had to deal with operations where we were taking down terrorist gangs that wanted to destroy the very fabric of our society.” 

One Case Involved Preventing Seven Planes From Being Blown up Over the Atlantic

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He said: “We had to take real-time decisions in those cases that I was part of. I was trying to do my part in relation to the defence of this country and everybody that lived here. So I don’t need lectures from anyone on national security or the importance of protecting lives in this country.”

Army Shrinking Under Tories

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There’s also an element of conflict with the Tory party. Despite saying they’re the party to be trusted on national security, we currently have the smallest army in over a hundred years. They’ve been in charge of defence for 14 years, so blame can’t be shifted elsewhere.

Labour Jumping on Lack of Preparedness For War

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Keir Starmer said the country is “less safe and less secure”, adding that “we have the smallest army since the time of Napoleon”.

Global Security Heightened

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With an expansionist Russia being supported by China, North Korea and Iran, there’s little room for excuses. A small, underfunded army is the opposite of what we need right now. 

Direct Threats Even Headed Our Way

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Perhaps it’s all bluff and bluster, but Russia has issued indirect threats to attack UK targets following the UK permitting Ukraine to strike targets within Russia using weapons provided by our armed forces.

Global Defence Alliances More Important Than Ever

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As the global defence picture looks precarious, NATO is rearming, and the UK must be part of that. While deterrence is the best defence strategy, we need a government that maintains defence spending at or above the NATO threshold of 2% of GDP.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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Whilst both parties have suggested they’ll raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP, you have to look at actions, not words. Starmer has visited NATO forces and HQ and affirmed commitments at the UK nuclear manufacturing base. 

Tory Actions Somewhat Different

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Whilst the Tories can be credited for stepping up to support Ukraine, they’ve shrunk the armed forces of the country and need concrete plans for rebuilding them. That’s a significant concern at a time of global conflict. 

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The post Starmer Gives Marching Orders: New UK Defence Plans Leave Corbyn’s Era in the Dust first appeared on Edge Media.

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