LEADERS OF THE BRITISH PEACE MOVEMENT will hand in a letter to the Prime Minister today (Friday 10 December), calling on Boris Johnson to reconsider the new AUKUS agreement that was signed between Britain, the US and Australia in September.

Campaigners believe that the agreement is likely to escalate tension in the Far East and urges the government to “take appropriate steps to bring UK actions in line with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region through diplomatic rather than military means.”

The deal will see Britain and the US collaborate with Australia to help provide them with nuclear-powered submarines. Australia will be the first non-nuclear weapons state to secure them.

Actions are taking place on Saturday 11 December in Britain, Australia and the United States as part of coordinated international protests against the AUKUS deal.

On Friday 10 December, Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) will also join G7 Foreign Ministers in Liverpool. Reports indicate the meeting will discuss the AUKUS pact as part of the ‘pivot to Asia’ military strategy. Among the summit’s attendees are Indonesia and Malaysia who have raised concerns that the AUKUS deal could lead to an arms race in the Indo-Pacific region.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said: “This new military pact will increase tensions in the Indo-Pacific and risks nuclear proliferation. Britain needs to abandon its increasingly aggressive global posturing and focus its resources on the real threats we face: taking action to solve the climate crisis.”

Lindsey German, Convenor of Stop the War Coalition said: “The AUKUS pact represents a more aggressive stance by the Western powers in the Pacific. Increased militarisation of the region, sanctions and the threat of boycott of the Chinese Winter Olympics are all creating dangerous tensions which can lead to war. Our [UK] government is increasingly belligerent and it has to stop.”

Warren Smith, of the Maritime Union of Australia, said: “The last thing we need in the world are more nuclear war machines and the severe environmental threats posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Maritime workers reject the warmongering of the racist, misogynist Morrison government and stand for international co-operation and peace.

“For working people there are no gains from war waged for corporate power. The MUA stands in solidarity with the peace movement and the growing number of trade unions and peace loving people who oppose this nuclear madness and drive to war.”

* More about the AUKUS partnership here.

* Source: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament