To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reason the Government did not wait for the conclusion of the review into foreign, defence and development policy before making the decision that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development should merge.
The Prime Minister has been considering this question for some time. Covid-19 has demonstrated just how important it is that our development and diplomatic efforts are fused together more closely. The integrated foreign policy review is expected to conclude later in the year, linked to the spending review. The review will define the Government's ambition for the UK's role in the world and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the new department. Both the review and the merger are evidence of the PM's commitment to a unified British foreign policy that will maximise our influence around the world.