Labour warns of ‘growing disconnect’ as it sets out foreign policy priorities

Elizabeth Arnold, PA Political Staff
·2-min read

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy will warn of the “growing disconnect” between objectives pursued by the UK abroad and the “impacts they have on communities here at home” in her first major speech in the role.

Setting out Labour’s foreign policy approach under leader Sir Keir Starmer, Ms Nandy will say her party would “rebuild Britain’s reputation as a reliable international partner, match the ambition of the British people and safeguard our national interests both at home and abroad”.

In her speech on Wednesday, frontbencher Ms Nandy will argue that “for too long, foreign policy has been the preserve of the political classes – formulated and implemented without the consideration or consent of the British people”.

Labour, she will pledge, “will put the British people and our shared values back at the heart of foreign policy”.

She will say: “There is a growing disconnect between the objectives we pursue abroad and the impacts they have on communities here at home.

“From the local football club put at risk by financiers on the other side of the world, to the impact that severe flooding has on a family-run business struggling to make ends meet.

“The world beyond our shores, and our ability to mould and shape it, affects the lives of people at home to an extraordinary degree.

“The challenges we face today demand more than empty slogans. Britain needs a foreign policy that defends our national security and safeguards the prosperity of the British people.”

Laying out her party’s foreign policy priorities, Ms Nandy, MP for Wigan, will warn of the domestic impacts of foreign policy, from a UK citizen falling victim to an organised crime gang “whose tentacles stretch across the globe”, to steel workers who “stand to lose their jobs”.

She will say: “I want to make the case today that the gulf between what we do abroad and what we choose to deliver for people at home is a direct threat to the security and prosperity of our country.

“That this disconnect has cost us the support and consent of the British people for our activities overseas, undermining our ability to make change in the world.

“And those choices, divorced from the everyday lives of the British public have caused nothing short of devastation for so many, writing off too many people and their communities in every nation and region of the UK. It doesn’t have to be like this.”