Britain in the World

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 13th January 2020.

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Photo of Alyn Smith Alyn Smith Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 5:19 pm, 13th January 2020

I very warmly agree. My hon. Friend is of course no stranger to DFID. SNP Members want to see that work and independence protected and maintained, but the trend we have seen is concerning. In 2017, DFID managed only 72% of official development assistance, down from 88% in 2013. Given the budgets being spent by other Departments, we think that is a retrograde drift that we need to reverse. We want to see an independent DFID—not part of the FCO—and we want the budget to be focused on climate change. The world is moving fast. We need to see a strong effort on climate change, because it is a global imperative that we very strongly support. The International Development Committee has called for this, and we would welcome and support moves towards it.

We are not going to agree on everything, but, as I have said, where we do agree I will not be shy of agreeing. “Perspective” is not just another way of saying “opinion”; we see the world differently on the SNP Benches. I am a Scottish European. I wish global Britain well; where we agree, we will agree. But Scotland is a European nation, and Scotland has not yet been heard on this.