SME4LABOUR was pleased to host David Lammy MP for Tottenham and Shadow Foreign Secretary in conversation with some of its members. In the context of Britain’s suffering global reputation, a slashed aid budget, a war in Ukraine and much more.
Mr Lammy argued that the country was in disarray, given that the Prime Minister, Lizz Truss, has sunk the economy, and does not have a mandate from the British people. On a domestic level, the UK is experiencing a great amount of difficulty. While the situation in the UK feels rougher, we know the UK is also a victim of global trends.
The Labour Party is a party that believes in human rights, in refugees, and in supporting its allies. It stands in solidarity with the Ukranian people. The Labour Party would absolutely support the Ukrainian people with military equipment, along with our allies in Europe and NATO.
Labour believes in multilateralism, and believes it is inappropriate to describe colleagues in Europe as ‘foes’. We must work closely with our European and NATO partners on security – be it combatting cyberterrorism, people-tracking or procurement. It was a mistake, Lammy argued, to abolish DFID, to cut our international budget to 0.5%.
Of course, it has been right to hold out our hand to Ukranian refugees, but that money should not come out of our aid budget. We have a serious interest in protecting the Commonwealth. We must continue to contribute to the Global Fund, as so many globally are still suffering. We need to use aid as a diplomatic tool.
Ukraine is not the world’s only conflict. There is conflict in Ethiopia, Yemen, the occupied territories, and Syria. It is alarming that this conflict has raged since 2011. There are real concerns regarding Turkey’s role in the Northern part of Syria, and the hardship faced by Kurdish communities.
David Miliband has discussed an age of impunity, where it’s as if the world looks away on conflict. The G7 is an effective grouping, which must stand up for Human Rights and their defenders.