DFID-FCO Merger

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:36 am on 18th June 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 10:36 am, 18th June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I know that he has looked at this very closely. We have discussed the integration of foreign policy on many occasions. That is absolutely essential, and I agree with him entirely that we want to keep not just the funding but the expertise, the know-how, the branding, the soft power—the elements that make the United Kingdom a development superpower—in the new structure. However, the reality is, and I thank him for his agreement on this, that we have an opportunity to do even better if we focus our aid and our foreign policy, and indeed, we are more aligned on trade and defence and wider security matters in a more focused way. That is the exciting opportunity that this merger allows, but I agree with him entirely on the point that he raised.