For too long, previous governments have failed to operate a truly joined-up foreign policy. Government must now both articulate a coherent, credible, and comprehensive foreign policy agenda for Britain, and build the machinery to put it into action.

“Britain’s exit from the European Union represents the biggest shift in our foreign policy in a generation. For the first time in decades, our role in the world will be completely ours to shape.

We believe that post-COVID and post-Brexit, there is a pressing need for a new APPG covering the subject of foreign affairs. Whilst Brexit has provoked soul searching about Britain’s place in the world, this has not, as yet, yielded much clarity about the UK’s long-term strategic direction.

This Government must now both articulate a coherent, credible, and comprehensive foreign policy agenda for Britain, and build the machinery to put it into action. My colleagues and I have re-founded the APPG on Foreign Affairs to support this vital agenda. For too long, previous governments have failed to operate a truly joined-up foreign policy. The UK has extraordinary potential.

We must leverage this position and deliver a foreign policy which brings high-value manufacturing and high-skilled, high-quality jobs back to these shores, especially to communities in Northern England, Scotland and Wales.

Our position on foreign affairs can be summarised as:

  • Britain is special. Our foreign policy will always be distinct, and cannot be entirely expressed or delivered by international bodies. Our foreign policy should consult widely but must always be independent of special interests (whether NGOs, charities, other governments or corporations).
  • Britain’s foreign policy should embody our values. Britain is not just special because of our history and our skills but also because of our values. Values matter in all of our dealings with other countries. Our closest international partnerships should be reserved for countries which share our fundamental values.
  • Britain’s foreign policy should express our interests. Going forward as an independent nation, the UK needs to define its national interest more clearly, and take steps to ensure that national interest is centre-stage in our dealings with other countries. Politicians and diplomats should be more conscious of our national interest, such as bringing high quality jobs to the UK, increasing our exports, opening up foreign markets, and strengthening our national security. Britain aspires to good relations with all countries but should never seek to gain good relations through submission or trading away national interest. When other nations (or groups of nations) are acting in a transactional manner with us, we must be ready to be transactional in response.
  • Our foreign policy needs to be long-term and holistic. The UK should revive big-picture and long-term thinking to bring more dynamism to the way we approach foreign affairs. Our strategy on foreign affairs must include the totality of our relations with other countries, including relations led by the MOD, Foreign Office and DFID. We need to end the departmental & siloed thinking which has created unnecessary complexity and conflicts in our relations with other nations. For this to happen we need to develop clearer lines of ministerial responsibility, and to guide the government towards a broader approach to humanitarian goals.

We encourage all organisations involved with foreign affairs to contact us, join our new network, and take part in our first consultation.”

Imran Ahmad Khan MP

Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Foreign Affairs

Officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Foreign Affairs

Imran Ahmad Khan MP
Chair
Conservative, Wakefield

Sarah Champion MP
Vice-Chair
Labour, Rotherham

Lisa Cameron MP
Vice-Chair
SNP, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

Officers
Adam Holloway MP
Andrew Bowie MP
Bob Blackman MP
Bob Seely MP
David Johnston MP

Members
Anthony Mangnall MP
Catherine West MP
Dan Jarvis MP
Lord Bilimoria
Tony Lloyd MP
Paul Bristow MP

Partners

Sponsors

If you are interested in joining the APPG as a partner organisation, please email info@appgforeignaffairs.org

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