Skip to main content

UK foreign policy report debated by Lords

16 May 2019

On Tuesday 21 May the House of Lords debates the International Relations Committee's report, UK foreign policy in a shifting world order.

The Committee's report concluded that international affairs are in a state of upheaval, and to address the challenges and enhance the UK's influence, a more agile, active and flexible approach to foreign policy must be developed. In its report, the Committee highlighted issues including:

  • Alterations in the UK'S 'bedrock' relationship with the US. The US Administration has taken a number of decisions on high-profile foreign policy issues, such as the Iran nuclear deal and trade policy, which undermine the UK's interests. The UK has struggled to influence the US and will need to place less reliance on reaching a common US/UK approach to major foreign policy challenges.
  • The expansion of China's power and influence across the world. The UK should work closely with China to address global challenges, while ensuring this is consistent with international humanitarian law.
  • Maintaining the rules-based international order should be a central theme of UK foreign policy. The UK should be a vocal champion of key institutions particularly the UN, the WTO and NATO, in the face of challenges from countries including Russia and the US.
  • New policies and initiatives to handle cyber security, cyber warfare and new types of aggression. New technologies mean that significant harm can be done to a nation without the use of traditional weaponry.
  • The UK must remain open to dialogue with Russia on issues such as counter-terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, while and seeking to counter and deter its hostile activities.
  • Strengthen and deploy more effectively Britain's considerable soft power assets, woven together with a high efficiency hard power capability.
  • Expand new 'deep and special' links with a fast-changing and challenged European neighbourhood.

Speakers in the debate

Lord Howell of Guildford, Chair of the International Relations Committee, will open the debate on UK foreign policy in a shifting world order. Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed on the Speakers' Lists.

Further Information

 Image: Parliamentary copyright