Labour's defence and military plans for Britain could see closer ties to EU (2024)

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The party could take a NATO-first approach to defence and rely on armoured vehicles - particularly tanks - from Germany, an expert has warned.

By Tom Burnett

Labour's defence and military plans for Britain could see closer ties to EU (2)

Labour's defence policy could be 'maritime first,' an expert said. (Image: Getty)

More has been revealed about the Labour Party's defence plans should the party win the General Election - and they could include closer ties with Germany according to one expert.

Lt Col Stuart Crawford said Keir Starmer's party could attempt a "maritime first" approach to Britain's defences if they take power on July 5.

As part of a "NATO first approach", he said the party could move the military from having a "full spectrum of military capabilities" to focusing on specific areas where the UK could "add significant value to collective security efforts with allies".

Writing on DefenceReview UK, Lt Col Crawford said: "That could mean at a stretch, if Labour is serious about it, that we abandon our army’s armoured aspirations altogether and leave it to others better disposed – the Germans possibly – to provide our tank capability and expertise.

"After all, the UK is currently planning to procure just 148 of the “new” (for new read upgraded) Challenger 3 models, a pathetically small number."

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Labour's defence and military plans for Britain could see closer ties to EU (3)

Britain could rely on Germany or other NATO partners for some aspects of defence. (Image: Getty)

Talking about a maritime-first policy, he said that while the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force may feel the benefits, the Army may lag.

He wrote: "The party also seems to favour a 'maritime first' approach to Britain’s defence, recognising the UK’s strategic geopolitical importance in the North Atlantic to both the UK and NATO.

"This is probably good news for both the RN and RAF, but may leave the Army still sucking on the hind teat."

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Labour's defence and military plans for Britain could see closer ties to EU (4)

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has high hopes in the upcoming General Election. (Image: Getty)


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    He added: "The RN is crying out for more frigates and the RAF for more airframes.

    "If the defence of the realm is the main priority and given that we are when all’s said and done we are an island nation, perhaps this is the right way to go.

    "Of course, putting these pledges in a manifesto and actually delivering them are two different things altogether. We shall see what happens."

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