Save the Children, 11th February
Save the Children responds to a paper authored by Bob Seely, a conservative MP and member of the foreign affairs select committee, and James Rogers of the Henry Jackson Society thinktank, has been fed into a Foreign Office review on a post-Brexit Britain
The paper, Global Britain: a blueprint for the 21st century, is backed by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and argues that: the current definition of aid spending should be broadened to include peacekeeping; the Department for International Development should be closed and merged with the trade department; the aid budget should have a multibillion pound cut; and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office would become the “undisputed intellectual driver of global engagement”.
In response to this report, Save the Children's CEO Kevin Watkins, said:
“The Henry Jackson Society and Bob Seeley are right to say we live in uniquely challenging times that desperately require an emboldened Global Britain. However, their proposed tonic is wrong. It is precisely the independence and integrity of our global institutions that makes them such a powerful guarantor of Britain’s influence.
“If DFID is swallowed up by the Foreign Office, or our life-saving, opportunity-enhancing aid commitment is cannibalised, the UK will lose its status as an international development superpower – a role that both secures the UK’s seat at the world’s top tables and is saving and transforming children’s lives in some of the poorest places on earth.
“The UK is at a crossroads. We can either embrace the unique role that the UK has carefully cultivated over the twentieth century through our world-class defence, diplomatic and development assets and apply this as a positive force in the world, or we can throw it away in the race for short-term political gain.
“Children around the world are relying on us to do the former.”
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