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 10:18 pm on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Chair, International Relations Committee 10:18 pm, 21st May 2019

My Lords, there has been a stream of superb speeches—I thought of nipping out for a sandwich but decided I would prefer to hear every speech, including the kind and very gratifying remarks, particularly about the report, for which I thank noble Lords very much. Two themes among many stand out. The first is the question, here at home, of our national role and positioning, with the United States relationship a bit wobbly, frankly, and changing; China spreading its influence around all of us everywhere; our relations with Europe up in the air; most EU Governments themselves under assault and the Middle East in chaos. That has been the first worry and we are going to have to think our way through it.

The other message is that we have to think down to the roots of all this turmoil, the fragmentation and the rage against elites, the populism and the feeling against treaties and the international order—indeed, against globalism itself as technology races ahead. Those are the two big agonies, the big worries that we are going to have to turn to much more. We are going to have to be very smart to puzzle our way through all this, and I just hope that this debate and the report will help the process on its way.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 10.20 pm.