Coalition Agreement published
The Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition has published the full text of its Coalition Agreement on a programme for government. Click to view the Defence and Foreign Affairs sections of the agreement. The full text can be viewed here.
The Government believes that we need to take action to safeguard our national security at home and abroad. We also recognise that we need to do much more to ensure that our Armed Forces have the support they need, and that veterans and their families are treated with the dignity that they deserve.
• We will maintain Britain's nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. We will immediately play a strong role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and press for continued progress on multilateral disarmament.
• We will aim to reduce Ministry of Defence running costs by at least 25%.
• We will work to rebuild the Military Covenant by:
– ensuring that Service personnel's rest and recuperation leave can be maximised;
– changing the rules so that Service personnel only have to register once on the Service register;
– exploring the potential for including Service children as part of our proposals for a pupil premium;
– providing university and further education scholarships for the children of Servicemen and women who have been killed on active duty since 1990;
– providing support for ex-Service personnel to study at university,
– creating a new programme, 'Troops for Teachers', to recruit ex-Service personnel into the teaching profession;
– providing extra support for veteran mental health needs; and
– reviewing the rules governing the awarding of medals.
• We will double the operational allowance for Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, and include Armed Forces pay in our plans for a fair pay review.
• We will ensure that injured personnel are treated in dedicated military wards.
• We will look at whether there is scope to refurbish Armed Forces' accommodation from efficiencies within the Ministry of Defence.
• We will support defence jobs through exports that are used for legitimate purposes, not internal repression, and will work for a full international ban on cluster munitions.
15. FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Government believes that Britain must always be an active member of the global community, promoting our national interests while standing up for the values of freedom, fairness and responsibility. This means working as a constructive member of the United Nations, NATO and other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth; working to promote stability and security; and pushing for reform of global institutions to ensure that they reflect the modern world.
• We will take forward our shared resolve to safeguard the UK's national security and support our Armed Forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
• We will push for peace in the Middle East, with a secure and universally recognised Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state.
• We will work to establish a new 'special relationship' with India and seek closer engagement with China, while standing firm on human rights in all our bilateral relationships.
• We will maintain a strong, close and frank relationship with the United States.
• We want to strengthen the Commonwealth as a focus for promoting democratic values and development.
• We will work to promote stability in the Western Balkans.
• We will support concerted international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
• We support reform of the UN Security Council, including permanent seats for Japan, India, Germany, Brazil and African representation.
• We will work to intensify our cultural, educational, commercial and diplomatic links with many nations beyond Europe and North America to strengthen the UK's relations with the fastest-growing areas of the world economy.
• We will never condone the use of torture.
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