Scotland’s Foreign Policy Footprint

Part of Delegated Legislation (Committees) – in the House of Commons at 8:06 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 8:06 pm, 3rd December 2018

I thank my hon. Friend for making that excellent point about the link to her constituency.

To return to my point about tackling foreign policy challenges in imaginative ways, the FCO should embrace the opportunities provided by devolution. I will quote more of Mark Muller Stuart’s article yesterday, in which he said:

The UK needs to support these types of initiatives. For as the utility of hard power declines,”— there can be no question that it is declining—

“and that of soft power increases, it ill-behoves any policymaker serious about improving the peace-making record of the UK not to recognise Scotland’s growing capacity to act. The positive values that underpin Scotland’s current civic nationalism and humanitarianism can only make it a greater force for good in the world, whatever its constitutional status turns out to be.”

It is important that we all reflect on that in a constructive, meaningful and responsible way.

At a time when the UK is facing mammoth challenges, it truly needs all the help it can get. I ask the Minister to consider the arguments I have made and how we can work together across all these islands to tackle some of the foreign policy challenges that we have in common in more imaginative ways, to help in areas such as climate change and conflict transformation. Thank you for allowing me this time, Madam Deputy Speaker.