I am very glad that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has been listening to a few of the things I have said over the last three years. Bringing strategic alignment to foreign policy is something that many of us have been calling for. I welcome the statement. As he has already said, it brings us into line with CANZUK countries. My Australian opposite number, to whom I spoke only an hour or so ago, praised the decision, as did my Canadian opposite number. It also brings us into line with Norway and Denmark—two countries very well-known for delivering effective aid programmes, not just in their own national interests but in the interests of the people they serve. I welcome the decision.
May I ask, however, that the Prime Minister reinforces the commitment that this is to deliver the technical expertise that DFID has demonstrated over 23 years? Just as we would not ask an ambassador to command a battle group, we would not ask somebody untrained to manage the handling or delivery of the millions of pounds that are so well and so effectively spent by people in East Kilbride and around the world on our behalf.Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) (Con)
I fully welcome this change. We are reassessing our role in the world, and this is the perfect time for it. Does my right hon. Friend agree with me that, as we take this bold step as a new global Britain, we have a lot to learn from our CANZUK—Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom—partners?Jacob Young (Redcar) (Con)
Yes, we do. I thank my hon. Friend, and he is bang on the money. We are simply coming in line, as I say, not just with what Australia, Canada and New Zealand already do, but with 28 out of 29 OECD countries.Boris Johnson