Tory and LPUK MPs had good news this week, they would be consulted on the decision around The Chagos Islands and the crucial military base on Deigo Garcia.
The governing parties had originally planned on giving the islands away, but do not have the support of the commons in doing so. This week the Prime Minister penned a letter, stating that the government would allow for a commons vote before the decision was made, and would follow the decision made by the commons.
The move to consult the house, and effectively keep the islands for the time being, will mean Lily will not only dodge an awkward phone call with new President-elect Joseph Biden, but it will also allow her to utilise the power of the military base in partnership with our American allies. The military base is of course crucial in facing down the powers of Iran and China; the later being something Labour have constantly talked about in opposition – can Lily now take the action neccersary to protect Britain’s interests?
The Prime Minister also now has a chance to distance Labour foreign policy from Solidarity-style “speak harshly and carry a small stick”. The move to disband the vital military base on the islands originated from Solidarity, it’s time Labour moves on from the radicals that have kept the party in the dark for almost a year.
A British government coming out against the moral case for retaining Diego Garcia is still a mighty diplomatic blow to both the UK and the US – both nations that lobbied heavily on the side of Britain retaining sovereignty of the islands at the time of the UN vote. The Prime Minister should seek to soften her cabinet’s public words on the matter, and better yet change the topic of public debate to her own agenda entirely before more harm is done.
Additionally, she must speak with the President elect to sooth over the tensions created by the matter, while offering the US wins on shared matters. A special relationship is there to be kindled, it may just cost both Britain and it’s Prime Minister a little more than expected.
Perhaps more importantly, there is a special relationship to be kindled at home – with the leader of the opposition. There’s little doubt in Westminster that Conservative pressure helped force the government’s hand on Chagos, but that’s no loss for Lily. It’s a sign that the two parties can find compromises and can be useful to one another.
As the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government looked to Labour to pass a budget, the Labour-Liberal Democrat government should look to the Conservatives.
In fact, cooperation should go well beyond simple budgetary matters, Lily should be open to allow Conservative influence on agreeable areas such as foreign policy, in exchange for beating back less tasteful LPUK reforms and keeping the government alive.
To fail this task would inevitably mean Conservatives voting the government out at the first opportunity – branding the Prime Minister, and Labour, a complete failure and proving their radical fiends in Solidairty correct.
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