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Fox and Mitchell describe Britain's powerful foreign policy role

By Tim Montgomerie
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Over at ConservativeIntelligence I've summarised the conference we hosted on Monday with Liam Fox and Andrew Mitchell but here's a key extract:

"Dr Fox told the Conference that we needed to be more aware of the continuing influence and power of Britain in the world. Whenever he attended international conferences of foreign policy players ‘Britain mattered’, he said. Britain was seen as the most important nation in Europe because of our “essential relationship” with America, our membership of NATO, our permanent place on the UN Security Council, our enduring relationships with the Commonwealth, the size of our defence budget, the quality of our diplomatic service and our willingness to deploy the military and, yes, said the Defence Secretary, our aid budget.

Andrew Mitchell, as you might expect, agreed and said that he foresaw the day, in the not-too-distant future, when the British aid budget’s humanitarian achievements would be a comparable source of national pride as our armed forces and our monarchy.

Later in the conference John Baron MP, Tory member of the Foreign Affairs select committee and an opponent of UK involvement in Libya, suggested that the soft power of the BBC World Service and of the British Council be added to the list of our nation’s foreign policy strengths. He regretted that these vital budgets had been cut and accused the Coalition of “short-termism” in having done so."

Read the full review here.


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