Scotland’s Foreign Policy Footprint

Part of Delegated Legislation (Committees) – in the House of Commons at 9:24 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State 9:24 pm, 3rd December 2018

If I can just complete the sentence, I will be very happy to give way to the hon. Lady, who has been very active tonight and is clearly approaching this debate with enormous enthusiasm.

Teaching English as a foreign language is massively important as it competes with other languages across the world, but remains the most dominant and important language in it. This is where the British Council does so much good. I never cease to be amazed when I visit another country—as a Foreign Office Minister, or as I did when I was a DFID Minister—to see the enthusiasm with which people queue up to benefit from British Council courses to learn English. It would be a disaster if we were ever to turn our backs on this massively effective effort. Of course, we are not in any way choosy about the accents that are taught; what matters is that the language is there. It really is amazing the way that people lap up the opportunity to learn and do so with great enthusiasm.