Green Party abandons opposition to NATO
Members of the Green Party of England and Wales have voted to abandon their longstanding position on NATO. Prior to the vote, the party’s policy stated that NATO is “not a sustainable mechanism for maintaining peace in the world”, and said that the Green Party “would take the UK out of NATO”.
The vote took place at the Greens’ spring conference. In a major about turn, the newly written policy now reads: “NATO has an important role in ensuring the ability of its member states to respond to threats to their security”. It goes on to call for NATO to guarantee a no first use policy on nuclear weapons, commit to upholding human rights in NATO’s actions and to act “solely in defence of member states”.
The change in the position on NATO was part of a wider rewrite of the party’s policies on peace, security and defence. By ditching their commitment to leaving NATO, the Greens in England and Wales now differ in their approach to the Greens in Scotland. The Scottish Green Party has retained its opposition to NATO, despite substantially revising its defence policies in recent years.
Following the passing of the motion, a Green Party spokesperson said: “Russia’s war on Ukraine has underscored the fears of other neighbours that their territorial integrity and independence is under threat. Conference showed the party’s commitment to international solidarity, where nations support one another through mutual defence alliances and multilateral security frameworks.
“Conference’s support for this motion does not mean a direct role for NATO in Ukraine. We do not support an escalation of the crisis there. But it does mean that NATO has an important role in ensuring the ability of its member states to respond to threats to their security.
“However, diplomacy and practical cooperation must always take precedence over military action. That is why we seek crucial reforms to the way NATO operates. Of course, as conference recognised today, other security arrangements may be considered should such reforms become unattainable.”
This article was jointly published with Left Foot Forward
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Image credit: Jon Craig – Creative Commons
This is great news. The more we engage positively with mainstream sensibilities, the easier it will become to promote our climate and biodiversity concerns.
No to nuclear power. Yes to nuclear war.
Pathetic! Naive! And to think having ditched Labour I was contemplating joining the Greens! NATO will never move one inch towards nuclear disarmament to accommodate Green sensibilities. In past elections to vote Green was a viable “protest” option (I live in a solid Tory constituency). No longer!
This is appalling. The USA has deliberately provoked the Russian interventuion in Ukraine by expanding NATO. Not to understand this demonstrates appalling naivity and stupidity.
This feels like a worrying bit of kneejerk populism following Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the perception that Green opposition to NATO is out of step with common feeling. Greens could have held their nerve on this matter for the time being or not made such a volte-face. This is unlikely to gain support from those who disapproved of Green position on NATO but it’ll certainly lose support.
So is NATO environmentally friendly now?
bad news guys – we have let a war event dictate our agenda
we should have the courage of our opinions
Could not agree more.
This decision is a major retrograde, rightwards step. One of the key reasons I joined the Greens to begin with was our thoroughgoing unilateralism. I fear too that we will regret our wording. Does no nuclear first strike imply tacit support for the possession of nuclear weapons? NATO, after all, is a nuclear alliance.
The list of reforms we would demand of NATO is quite extensive and we made it clear that if NATO could not make these changes and commitments (which ot almost certainly would not) then a Green Government would be free to look at other security arrangements I e to leave NATO.
The peace security and defence policy commits us to the concept of human security, to a major reduction in arms production and much tighter export controls; to joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and immediately beginning the process of dismantling our nuclear arsenal; and to seeking all possible options to promote peace and justice.
It puts us a million miles away from Labour Policy.
Though I understand the fears about Russian aggression I see this decision as a significant rightward turn . I am now finding it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between us and the prowar mainstream parties.
I don’t get it. Pro-war is when you support a country defending itself from conquest?
Yes. Because we all know that supporting the imperialists is pro-green and climate.
I presume you mean Russia as the country facing a threatened “conquest” by the USA through the use of Ukraine as a proxy sacrifice. There were many historic attempts to create peace talks – all of them rejected by US/NATO and most recently by the UK and President Zelensky. Russia is not about to invade Europe except in some paranoid minds. The West has declared war on Russia. Are the Greens to become the party of total war like the German Greens?
Ukraine is right to resist. We are wrong to have any illusions in NATO.
russia is pro fossil fuels but wants to annexe the land of mineral rich and soil rich ukraine russia is part of the fossil fuel fool lobby i hate war too but the alternative to this could be more murdered ukrainians than ever and of course more mudered innocent people on all sides what else can we do i do not know ben quirky qualio i stick to local issues now as they are important too like stopping sizwellc still up for a real debate why not, ukraine is ukraine and there aint nothing we can do about it but wait for the end game now lets hope for peace sooner than later without war bla blabla ben quail mother sunday 23
Green Party abandons opposition to NATO = I abandon the Green Party.
We still oppose NATO: the policy is just a bit nuanced
Who are you kidding? Sad and sick, gutless
Disappointed by this. At least the attempt to water down our commitment to unilaterally scrap the UK’s nuclear weapons failed overwhelmingly.
I suspect the chances of NATO being capable of reforming to accommodate Green Party priorities is basically nil.
At least (unlike Starmer’s Labour) Green Party members are still allowed to dissent in public.
Thanks for the info. I’d wanted to know what happened with the nuclear disarmament amendment.
Anyone who thinks the UK could get rid of nuclear weapons from its soil without leaving NATO is away with the fairies.