The youth wing of the UK Labour Party have voted to leave NATO at the 2017 National Youth Policy Conference.
The motion, which is advisory and will not directly affect Labour Party policy, was titled ‘Support Corbyn and Internationalism, Oppose Trump and NATO’.
It called for the Labour Party to commit to the withdrawal of the UK from Nato ‘on the basis it no longer meets our collective security needs, is headed by a man [Donald Trump] variously viewed as an authoritarian and a fascist, and that its continual aggression makes people in the UK less safe than they otherwise would [be]’.
The speakers opposing the motion used the example of Brexit to show why they thought leaving Nato would be a mistake, and called for the UK to be able to ‘change things from within’. Another stated that we could not afford to leave two out of the three major international organisations (the EU, Nato, the UN), and reminded those in the conference that ‘Nato was not America or Trump’.
Meanwhile, the speakers for the motion accused Nato of imperialism, serving only the economic interests of the West and called ‘for the protection of oppressed people globally’. Others felt that Nato was an outdated institution, causing more harm than good. The direction of Nato’s future was feared with Donald Trump as the President of the USA now.
The motion passed after four rounds of speeches with 71 for it, 67 against and 37 abstentions. It was the closest result of the conference.
Taking place over two days, the conference aimed to shape future national Labour Party policy. Participating were various University Labour Club delegates, regional delegates, trade unions and other affiliated groups.
All motions passed at the conference are nominally adopted as policy for Young Labour and will be sent onto the NPF (National Policy Forum), who review the proposed policy. If the NPF also accept the policy through a vote then it will get addressed at the party’s Annual Conference, where it has the chance to become nation wide policy.