Liberation statement: The selection of Rishi Sunak as UK PM

The Cabinet announcements by Rishi Sunak, the third UK Prime Minister in as many months, have been greeted with dismay by international solidarity organisation, Liberation.

Many familiar faces return to the Cabinet, in familiar roles, and do nothing to inspire confidence in any change of emphasis in UK foreign policy, attitudes towards immigration or the treatment of refugees.

The belligerent Global Britain foreign policy position, initiated by the Boris Johnson government, looks set to continue with James Cleverly remaining at the Foreign Office.  As well as backing the US led collision course with China over Taiwan, the pouring of arms into Ukraine to sustain the conflict with Russia, rather than looking for a peaceful solution, looks set to continue.

Cleverly is unlikely to raise objection to the continued illegal occupation of Palestine by Israeli armed forces or the 60 year long illegal economic blockade of Cuba by the United States.

With the military hawk Ben Wallace retained as Defence Secretary, there can be little doubt that the Global Britain approach will be used as a platform to argue the case for increased military spending and the massive waste of resources on weapons of mass destruction, in the form of the renewal of Trident nuclear submarines.

The UK’s support for NATO led military adventures across the Middle East shows no sign of abating and there is little doubt that the migration crisis it has generated will be addressed with anything other than punitive action.  The re-appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, whose ‘dream’ is to see a flight full of asylum seekers bound for Rwanda take off before Christmas, can only add fuel to the debate raging around the abuse of human rights of those fleeing from conflict and persecution.

Kemi Badenoch’s re-appointment as International Trade Secretary will also do little to inspire confidence that the government is taking seriously its international commitments to support aid and development over war, conflict and illegal occupation.

The Cabinet shaped by Rishi Sunak looks set to continue, and in some instances exacerbate, the errors in foreign, international trade and immigration policy of the past twelve years of Conservative government.

While trying to put a new gloss on the administration with his Downing St statement, promising a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level”, Rishi Sunak has immediately contradicted that position with his Cabinet choices, his adherence to the failed policies carried out under Boris Johnson and his commitment to the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto.

Liberation will continue to raise issues of concern regarding the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, wars of intervention and the need for increased investment in development, rather than arms sales.  We will continue our campaign for peace, justice and human rights and lobby the government of the UK, of whatever party, to adopt progressive policies and take up progressive positions in the United Nations and on other international bodies.

25th October 2022

Photo: Creative Commons

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