BRITISH PACIFISTS HAVE CONDEMNED the new defence and security pact announced by the governments of the UK, US and Australia, saying it will make the world less safe. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), the UK’s leading pacifist group, said that the only thing that would be protected by the deal would be the profits of arms dealers.
Announcing the pact, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) praised the arms companies BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for their work on nuclear submarines. The announcement has been made while one of the world’s largest arms fairs, Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), is taking place in London.
The pact will see the US providing equipment to allow Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.
It follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision earlier this year to increase the cap on the number of nuclear warheads owned by the UK government by 44 per cent. Despite a slight reduction in army numbers at around the same time, the Prime Minister also raised UK military spending by the highest percentage since the Korean War 70 years ago.
Symon Hill, Campaigns Manager of the Peace Pledge Union, said: “People are struggling with Covid, poverty pay and food shortages, but politicians and generals seem to think that they can make us safe with bombs and missiles. Weapons cannot protect us from the most serious threats that we face – including pandemics, poverty and climate chaos.
“Chinese and Russian militarism cannot be defeated by western militarism. Countries use each other’s military aggression to justify their own. This latest military deal continues the UK government’s military subservience to the US. Britain must be more than a tribute band for the Pentagon.
“The pact has been announced with lots of talk about sales of military equipment between the US, UK and Australia. The only thing that this deal will protect is the profits of arms dealers.”
* Read the UK Government’s announcement of the pact here.
* Source: Peace Pledge Union