SINCE September, local Conservative politicians have seemed very eager to praise the new military pact known as AUKUS.

They are apparently unconcerned that the US and UK will be assisting Australia to acquire new long-range strike capabilities for its air force, navy and army, including the provision of nuclear-powered submarines fuelled by weapons grade uranium.

They clearly hope that BAE Systems staff in Barrow will be involved in designing and building the submarines, but appear to have ignored the potential threats to peace and stability inherent in such military escalation.

They seem unconcerned that AUKUS has already sparked tensions between the UK and France and seems likely to provoke a regional arms race in the South China Sea.

In the UK, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is calling on the UK government to focus its resources instead on funding our NHS more adequately and on meeting the social care needs of our communities.

Indeed, CND wants the government to halt all its dangerous and provocative nuclear adventures.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the Maritime Union is also calling for a shift away from wasteful and environmentally harmful military spending to investment in health care and socially useful jobs.

They say that the pact will “continue to escalate unnecessary conflict with China”, and state “We don’t want war”.

This Saturday, Australian peace campaigners and trade unionists are holding an international day of action in opposition to the AUKUS pact.

South Lakeland and Lancaster District CND expresses its solidarity with the Australian campaign, while calling on the UK government to make genuine efforts to invest in increased and more diverse employment opportunities in Barrow.

Philip Gilligan 
On behalf of South Lakeland and Lancaster District CND