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Government should reinvigorate ties with Commonwealth network

7 February 2018

The UK should use the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to strengthen diplomatic relations with Commonwealth members, says International Relations Committee report published today.


The Lords International Relations Committee today publishes its report, 'Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018', in which it calls on the UK Government to use the Commonwealth meeting to reinvigorate relations with Commonwealth members and to ensure commitments made at the meeting are delivered and positive outcomes achieved.

Chairman's comments

Commenting on the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Lord Howell of Guildford, said:

"Britain must re-shape its international relations in changed world circumstances, regardless of Brexit. This meeting is the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate relations with the Commonwealth members and to strengthen our diplomatic, trade, defence and security ties across the network.

We are pleased to hear of the Government's clear commitments to the meeting and look forward to the positive outcomes it is set to deliver."

Other conclusions and recommendations

  • The Committee welcomes the priority being given to preparations ahead of the meeting, and see this as a contrast to less positive government attitudes toward the Commonwealth in the past.
  • The Government is urged to make clear to the public the potential benefits and opportunities of stronger ties with Commonwealth member states.
  • The Committee hope in the conclusions of the meeting that Commonwealth members will express their full support for strengthening the international rules-based system.
  • The Committee urge the Government to continue to take a robust position on all aspects or human rights, both at the forthcoming meeting and in the years ahead.

Further information

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