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DEFENCE POLICY

Introduction

Recent events have shown the need to maintain a strong defence force to counter the increasing and ever closer dangers to the shores of the United Kingdom and also our traditional allies throughout the world. We believe the British people take pride in and will support their armed forces in increasingly dangerous tasks at home and abroad.

We acknowledge that negotiation in a time of potential military action is far more effective when negotiating from a position of strength. The first duty of any sovereign state is to protect the freedoms of its citizens.

We will, therefore, maintain a strong defence force, backed by industrial capability, both in research, development anbd production. Sales of arms abroad will, however, be restricted to those traditional allies who have long established democracies, and have proved over decades their will to maintain peace in the world.

We will be happy to maintain our traditional links with organisations of proven integrity and ability, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and will once again reach out to our Commonwealth which has proved such a world stabilising force for centuries.

Hence, the Democatic Party is committed to:

In Principle:

  • Control of our armed forces will remain the duty of the democratically-elected U.K. Government.

  • A strong defence of the U.K.
  • The ability to mount out-of-area operations alone and in co-operation with our allies.

  • We will encourage the people of Britain to take a closer interest in their armed forces, and the many facilities provided at great cost by the nation to the armed services will be utilised to the good of the civilian population more directly.

In Particular:

  • Recent cuts in TA strength will be restored, and examined to determine if further increases are necessary.

  • The Royal Navy will receive, as soon as possible, two large aircraft carriers, capable of fixed wing operation, together with adequate supporting ships. All will be built in Britain.

  • The role of the armed forces in providing first-class training in many disciplines will be utilised for the good of the nation as a whole.

In General

  • The traditional strength of our armed services will be ensured.
  • Wherever posible equipment will be designed and manufactured in Britain to ensure continuity of supply, particularly in emergencies, since events over the last two decades, particularly at the Falklands and Gulf War periods, when an assumed supply of equipment was not forthcoming.

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