Annual Conference 2014 Resolutions

Labour CND has drafted two resolutions, one on Disarming Trident and a second on Ending US and UK military interventions in the Middle East.

It is vital that Labour CND supporters ensure these debates are heard at Labour Party Conference.

  • Make sure your CLP discusses and submits one of these resolutions.
  • Make sure your delegate is present at any relevant Conference Arrangements Committee meeting before conference.
  • Make sure you promote the resolution to ensure it is prioritised for debate.


The deadline for receipt of contemporary motions is Thursday 11th September 2014 at 12 noon.

The title has a maximum of 10 words and the motion a maximum of 250 words.

Please email and let us know if your CLP is submitting one of these or a similar motion.


Disarm Trident

Conference notes the Message to Congress by President Obama of 24 July on the extension of the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

Conference further notes that the Prime Minister failed to consult or inform Parliament before signing the extension ofthis Treaty and regrets this disregard for democracy by the Government.

Conference recognises the extension of the Treaty is to permit ‘the transfer of classified information concerning atomic weapons’ in order ‘to assist the United Kingdom in maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent’.

Conference further regrets that the extension to the US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement runs counter to our Non-Proliferation Treaty commitment to disarm our nuclear weapons.

Conference notes that Labour’s National Policy Forum of 18-20 July discussed almost 50 submissions on Trident.

Conference welcomes the NPF decision to recognise the success of past international bans on weapons of mass destruction such as landmines, clusster munitions, and chemical and biological weapons and supports a definitive commitment to disarmament.

Conference resolves that Labour will support an international process to ban nuclear weapons, as a complementary and necessary mechanism to our commitment to disarm UK nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Conference resolves that Labour will disarm Trident and not replace it, and re-allocate spending to where it best serves our society, including developing an industrial plan to make use of the skills of those workers in the sector.


End US and UK Military Interventions in the Middle East

Conference notes the announcement by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond of 15th August that the UK will provide military equipment to Iraqi and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Conference notes with concern the spread of the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq and their ethnic cleansing of ethnic and religious minorities in both states.

Conference notes with regret the US and UK military intervention in Iraq in 2003 which resulted in an estimated 500,000 civilian deaths, the creation of 4 million refugees, and enforced the destabilising disintegration of Iraqi state and security infrastructure.

Conferences expresses concern that further unilateral military action by US and UK forces could further entrench sectarian divisions and make the establishment of a peaceful and unified country more difficult to achieve.

Conference resolves that Labour will reject unilateral military action or arming of forces by the UK and calls for a UN-authorised humanitarian response and calls on the UN to facilitate urgent negotiations for the peaceful resolution of this conflict.


Labour’s Defence Policy Review and NPF

The Labour Shadow Defence Team has launched the Labour Party’s Defence Policy Review and is seeking submissions.

It is vital that members engage in and shape the debate particularly regarding the Labour Party’s current policy on the continued possession of nuclear weapons and engagement in foreign military interventions.

We must ensure the party commits to scrapping Trident and ending our role in destructive wars.

Labour CND has drafted two model responses for you to consider submitting both to the Defence Policy Review and to your National Policy Forum representatives.

You can do so both as an individual member and via your CLP.


The National Policy Forum Britain in the World Commission is meeting in mid-June so we suggest you do this immediately after the elections in May.

  • Please ensure you submit this to the Labour Shadow Defence Review by emailing and posting to Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
  • You should also send it to your National Policy Forum representatives, via the MembersNet section of the Labour Party website –
  • Please tell us if you have made such a submission, on



Labour and Trident replacement

Labour will put greater importance on working with other nuclear weapon states to increase progress on nuclear reductions and disarmament towards the goal of global abolition.

Labour will encourage non-nuclear states to also keep up their pressure for nuclear disarmament as required by the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

Labour will back a global nuclear weapons convention with the ultimate aim of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Labour will make a clear commitment to scrap Trident and all plans for Trident replacement.

Supporting arguments:

The Labour Party needs to change its policy on Trident and its replacement.

Trident or its replacement does not address our real threats. Even the Coalition Government has confirmed that the UK does not face a nuclear weapon threat from another state, according to their National Security Strategy published in 2011. The possession of Trident does not increase our security. It is not a means of defence, it is means of attack. As such it could prove a magnet for attack in a conflict situation.

Trident or its replacement is a green light to nuclear weapons proliferation. It sends the wrong message at a point when the US and Russia are taking further disarmament steps. It is through honouring our nuclear disarmament commitment that we can achieve a nuclear weapons free world.

Trident replacement is unaffordable. Constructing and maintaining Trident’s replacement will cost over £100billion over its lifetime to 2060. In the shorter term the maintaining the existing Trident system and constructing the Trident replacement will cost us £55billion over the next 15 years.

Trident replacement is unpopular. There is clear and consistent polling evidence that shows the public is opposed to Trident replacement. Even amongst the defence community, many do not favour a costly nuclear weapon system in the face of other public spending cuts.

Labour and a new foreign policy

Labour will adopt a foreign policy that rejects military interventionism and nuclear aggression.

Labour will reject the principle that UK forces should operate anywhere in the world. Their only purpose should be for the defence of these islands.

Labour will support peaceful negotiations and dialogue through the UN and its member states, in conflict situations.

Labour will immediately withdraw troops from Afghanistan and advocate global disarmament, including a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East and the scrapping of Trident here in the UK.

Supporting arguments:

Ed Miliband stated in his first speech as leader that ‘This generation wants to change our foreign policy so that it’s always based on values, not just alliances.’

The UK’s alliances, notably with the US and NATO or other Western powers, have led the country into numerous military strikes and wars in recent years, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan, under the justification of ‘liberal interventionism. This policy has damaged our international standing and lacks public support in the UK.

These interventions have been selective, seizing on certain internal conflicts and perceived threats, whilst ignoring others.

These interventions have left thousands dead and injured, harming rather than helping the people who live there and leaving behind countries that are neither stable nor safe.

These interventions have only been for the benefit of multi-national corporations and Western powers seeking to gain access to natural resources and infrastructure contracts.

Any justification for these wars has been seen to be lies to disguise the real intention of extending Western strategic control and interests.

The UK’s Cold War-era alliance, NATO, has expanded its sphere of influence by encouraging former Warsaw Pact countries to join and engaging in ‘out of area’ operations. Given the Warsaw Pact was dissolved twenty years ago, serious questions remain unanswered as to the role of NATO.

A progressive, socialist foreign policy requires resources and skills to be committed to reducing poverty and improving living standards rather than supporting military action and the instability and misery it causes.

Labour, war and liberal intervention


Labour, war and liberal intervention:
Why it’s time to change

Yasmin Qureshi MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Sonia Klein

7pm, Monday 11th June
Committee Room 17
Houses of Parliament

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Three countries with thousands of civilians dead, infrastructure destroyed and ongoing conflict. Billlions committed to Trident replacement.

Labour’s policy review is a chance to challenge the legacy of war during the New Labour years and end support for liberal interventionism.

Labour members want a foreign and defence policy based on peace and justice, join us as we discuss the way forward.

Organised by Labour CND •

Stop Western intervention in Middle East, by Walter Wolfgang

The Washington Post has published an advertisement signed by many retired American generals opposing war with Iran. Their position is right.

The development of nuclear power by any country, whether Britain, France or the USA is regrettable – powerful fissile material can be used for the production of nuclear weapons. But it is equally clear that Iran has not broken any international agreement.

The right way to stop any possible development of nuclear weapons by Iran – which it has not yet got – is to ensure the UN holds a discussion on a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, and oblige Israel – which has got nuclear weapons – to attend it.

There is no case for intervention against Iran by Israel or by the United States. Western intervention in Libya has plunged the country into civil war. Fortunately the Chinese and Russian veto at the UN of a NATO-Arab League resolution in Syria may possibly result in a negotiated solution of the Syria impasse.

There is resistance to Assad in Syria but there is also significant support. Syrians are intensely nationalistic and rightly suspicious of Western nations. The United States and NATO have had to present their interference in the Middle East as bending the ‘Arab Spring’ in their direction. Meanwhile, some of the Syrian representatives are in China trying to broker a ceasefire.

The Syrian National Council itself is divided. A section of it does not want the West to arm them – a policy promoted by those great champions of social liberties Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Even the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while angry about the Russian and Chinese veto, states that Western intervention is unlikely and would pledge unity not civil war.

The danger is a proxy war fought out in Syria between those linked to Iran and the pro-western section of the Syrian rebels back by NATO, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

Ed Miliband made the mistake of backing NATO over Libya. Labour should now make it clear that it will lead the resistance to any intervention – whether overt or covert – in Syria and Iran.

Stop spending on war, writes Jim Mortimer

Much of the discussion about the economic problems facing Britain is based on a myth.

Put simply, the myth is that Britain’s national deficit between income and expenditure is attributable to unsustainably high wage levels, excessively generous pension schemes (particularly for public sector workers), high levels of social service benefits which discourage the search for jobs, too low a retirement age and unnecessary subsidies for social benefits including social housing, higher education and some disability allowances.

The main advocates of this myth are to be found in and around the Conservative Party and among newspapers sympathetic to the Conservative Party.

Unfortunately, some Labour politicians also subscribe to some of these myths, though almost always in a less emphatic manner than their Conservative counterparts. They subscribe to the ‘responsible’ view that the Labour Party should acknowledge the need for economy in social spending as an essential prelude to recovery. Labour politicians are also usually more ready than their Conservative opponents to draw attention and to criticise the excessive incomes and bonuses received by many of the top people in banking and commercial services.

Nevertheless, some Labour politicians have not vigorously defended or identified themselves with the efforts of working people through their unions to defend their jobs, wages and conditions. They are, in my view, wrong not to have done so.

The reason why they are wrong is that Britain’s economic deficit is attributable primarily to the commitment to unjustified and unnecessary wars in recent years. War, particularly when fought at great distance, is extremely expensive.

There was the war in Iraq. It was conducted by a Labour Government under Tony Blair. It was ‘justified’ on the false assertion that Iraq was in possession of nuclear weapons capable of a destructive attack on Britain or British possessions at very short notice.

No evidence was ever found to justify this allegation, nevertheless an extremely expensive war was conducted which not only added heavily to Britain’s financial burden but led to many deaths both among Iraqi citizens and among the military of the invading forces.

The other very costly military adventure is in Afghanistan seems interminable.

The origin of the Afghan war was partly internal and partly external. The USSR withdrew in 1988 because it became clear that they could not decisively influence the outcome of the internal struggle in Afghanistan and because of their own casualties. The conflict continued and now ten years after invading, NATO continues to suffer casualties, without being able to strike a decisive blow. The Taliban remain in Afghanistan and has neither won nor been defeated, so the war continues.

The third military conflict in which the British Government chose to intervene was in Libya. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Gadaffi regime – and there were both rights and wrongs – it was not the legitimate role of Britain to intervene with extensive bombing raids under the claim that it was defending civilians. Gadaffi was defeated, above all, by foreign military intervention including British forces.

There have also been other expensive military interventions by Britain in recent years. One such intervention was in Kosovo in the determination of some of the Western powers to bring about the disintegration of Yugoslavia. NATO acted independently of the United Nations, being well aware that Russian and China would have vetoed the bombing of Kosovo. The Yugoslav war removed the pretence of the sanctity of the UN Charter. It was Harold Pinter who said as long ago as 1999, that ‘the NATO action in Serbia had nothing to do with the fate of the Kosovan Albanians but was another blatant assertion of US power.’

Spending on war on the scale of recent years needs now to be eliminated from Britain’s expenditure. This is essential for Britain’s economic recovery.


Jim Mortimer was General Secretary of the Labour Party from 1982 to 1985.

This blog was from his contribution to the 2012 CLPD AGM.

Photo shows an All Terrain Jackal vehicle of the Household Cavalry in Afghanistan, by Sergeant Russ Nolan RLC. Defence Images.