Global Britain and the International Rules-based Order

Part of Brexit, Science and Innovation – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 6th September 2018.

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Photo of Bob Seely Bob Seely Conservative, Isle of Wight 3:49 pm, 6th September 2018

My hon. Friend makes a good point. My answer is that they can be, but not necessarily; it is dependent on how the money is spent. I will come to that a bit later. They are not separate—that is certainly true—but it is how we deal with them as a whole that is the issue.

The next question is, what role is there for the Anglosphere? We talk about deepening relationships with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. What does that mean in practice? Is there a role for a global NATO and a NATO that looks at not only physical force but threats to democracy from cyber-attacks and other organisations and criminal and state actors?

What should the structure of the FCO be after Brexit? I am quite a fan of the argument that the FCO should be a super-Ministry, with oversight and a stronger role in leading—[Interruption.] I am glad that the Minister has just signed up to that. With the Department for International Trade, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s office, there are so many bits of government that are now involved in foreign affairs. We want coherence.

Above all, the critical thing we need to learn is how we integrate government better, not only here but at home, to deliver efficiently. I do not like Russia’s hybrid war, but it is an incredibly efficient use of power. I am not saying that that is our model, but efficiency and integration are important.

We need to rebalance our overseas spending. I do not believe that how the 0.7% is spent should be dictated by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We should dictate how we spend that money. There is an argument to suggest that the BBC, which is part of the broader aid budget, should be entirely funded through DFID, as should all peacekeeping operations, which are fundamental elements of aid.