On his upcoming visit to Washington DC on 19 September, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey, is expected to underscore the necessity for the UK and US to jointly brace their democratic resilience in anticipation of pivotal elections next year.
His speech at the American Enterprise Institute, alongside Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips, will advocate for a bolstered transatlantic alliance in the realm of defence and security.
Healey will say, “For Labour, the US is the UK’s most essential ally, especially on defence and security. Our countries should be on high alert ahead of the UK General Election and US Presidential Election in 2024. This is the time to launch democratic resilience work together to better protect our democratic values and systems.”
Within the framework of a recent paper he penned with the Royal United Services Institute, Healey will propose the inception of a new Democratic Resilience Centre. Designed to shield democratic values, political institutions, and open societies, the Centre will aim to “not only collectively monitor threats and share best practices, but also advise on action and develop new strategies, including military operational responses, to counter them.”
Speaking on the prospective Centre, Healey will emphasise, “Democracy and freedom is hardwired into NATO’s founding treaties, alongside collective defence. Our deep conviction in democracy means we must also act to defend our democracies when under attack. This proposed Democratic Resilience Centre would protect our democratic values, political institutions, elections, and open societies, not only by monitoring threats, but also by advising on action and military operational responses to counter them.”
Drawing attention to the global geopolitical scenario, particularly in relation to Ukraine, Healey will commend the US leadership’s role during the Ukraine conflict, stating that “there may be a change to Labour next year, but there will be no change to Britain’s resolve to stand with Ukraine, confront Russian aggression and pursue Putin for his war crimes.”
In the midst of these high-level dialogues, Healey will be accompanied by Labour’s Foreign Secretary, David Lammy. Their itinerary includes interactions with members of the US Congress and engagements with officials from the White House, the US Department of Defence, and the US Department of State.