UK Foreign Policy in a Shifting World Order (International Relations Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:39 pm on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 8:39 pm, 21st May 2019

My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Helic, who speaks with great authority. It is also a great pleasure to join the chorus of congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Howell, on this excellent report and his tenure as chairman of the committee. And it is a great pleasure to welcome back the noble Lord, Lord Bates, and to see that he has walked back into our debates in cracking form, no longer having to try to answer people like me. It is a pleasure to say how much I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Browne, on dialogue with Russia, the noble Lord, Lord Bates, on conflict prevention, and the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, on how to handle Iran.

John Bolton, United States national security adviser, famously said that if the UN building in New York lost its top 10 storeys, it would not make a blind bit of difference. Bolton rejects the concept of international law and that of international organisations, which he sees as a threat to US national stability. He does not agree with me and the noble Lord, Lord Lamont, about Iran; he has advocated the pre-emptive bombing of Iran and wants regime change there, as well as in Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea. His is a rather Hobbesian world where national sovereignty rules; he is a bit like the noble Lord, Lord Grocott, on speed.