UK Would Work More Closely With Europe Under Labour Plans

(Bloomberg) -- A Labour government would work more closely with the European Union including by forming a new security pact as part of a “reset” of British foreign policy to reverse the nation’s “tarnished international reputation,” according to the opposition party’s shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Lammy will use a speech Tuesday in London to set out Labour’s plan for reshaping the UK’s foreign policy outlook in a keynote speech on the party’s international direction. Some polls suggest Labour could win the next general election due by January 2025 at the latest.

Lammy is set to accuse Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government of critical failings that have left the UK cut off from traditional allies in Europe, according to his office.

“Foreign policy has never been so important in shaping the daily lives of people in Britain,” Lammy is expected to say. “At no point has national success been so tied to the forces of global change but ideological leadership and reckless choices have left Britain increasingly disconnected from its closest allies, an economy in crisis and a tarnished international reputation.”

While the UK’s relationship with the EU has improved in recent months, it remains fragile, with negotiations over post-Brexit arrangements still ongoing three years later. One impact of the UK’s departure from the bloc is that it’s not part of a possible EU response to US President Joe Biden’s massive green subsidy package. That concern has resulted in government ministers warning the EU not to harm British companies if it chooses to match the measures in recent weeks.

Sunak’s foreign policy adviser, John Bew, is currently putting the finishing touches to a wider strategy known as the Integrated Review looking at Britain’s foreign and defense policy, due for publication in the next few months.

Sunak Urged to Cut UK Use of Taiwan Chips Due to China Risk

Speaking to the research institute Chatham House in London, Labour’s Lammy will outline his party’s five-goal mission statement to establish the “right priorities” to enable the UK to “thrive” on the world stage. The party wants to boost trade in the “industries of the future” and restore Britain’s “soft power,” such as preventing further cuts to the BBC World Service, which broadcasts around the globe.

Lammy also wants all overseas decisions to be seen through the prism of how they can help domestic policy objectives, such as supporting a robust state-run National Health Service.

Lammy’s priorities include:

  • Creating a joint organization between the Foreign and Home Office — which guards homeland security — to assess dangers and challenge hostile state actors.

  • Fixing the issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol, currently being debated by London and Brussels.

  • Turning the UK’s climate change response into “an engine of growth.”

  • Rebuilding Britain’s reputation on international development after budget cuts.

  • Pushing for the UK to re-establish itself as a trusted, reliable and influential diplomatic partner.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.