William Hague is the Foreign Secretary. Follow William on Twitter.
Last week the Foreign Affairs Select Committee published a report on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It praised the Department’s “impressive performance” representing the UK’s interests across the globe on a relatively small budget while arguing that the Foreign Office is underfunded.
I welcome the report and the implication that the Foreign Office would make good use of a larger budget. But this is simply not possible at a time when our country is facing huge economic pressures. The Foreign Office has to shoulder its share of the burden of reducing the deficit.
In any event it is not the size of the Foreign Office budget that matters, but what we do with it. Its budget will always be small compared to the expenditure needed to maintain our Armed Forces or the NHS. The real value of the Foreign Office lies in the power of the ideas it develops and the unique connections it forges overseas.