Minister gives evidence on future UK-EU foreign policy cooperation
On Tuesday 19 January, the Security and Justice Sub-Committee holds a public evidence sessions with Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO); Giles Portman, EU Director at the FCDO and: Lisa Maguire, Head of Sanctions Unit and Deputy Director Multilateral at the FCDO to discuss future UK-EU foreign policy and international development cooperation. The purpose of this session is to understand how the Government intends to cooperate with the EU on foreign policy and international development now that the UK has left the EU and the new FCDO has been created.
- Parliament TV: International development cooperation after Brexit
- Parliament TV: Future UK-EU foreign policy and defence cooperation
- Parliament TV: UK sanctions policy post-Brexit
- Correspondence with the Foreign Secretary on future UK-EU sanctions policy cooperation
The evidence session is the culmination of three previous sessions the Committee has held to scrutinise post-Brexit EU cooperation on foreign affairs matters. On 30 June 2020, the Committee held an evidence session with the former International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. This session sought to identify how the Government plans to cooperate with the EU on aid projects, as well as how they intend to mitigate the projected financial impacts of Brexit on NGO operations. This session took place before the merger of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with the Department for International Development (DfID), so there were some outstanding issues relating to what international development policy might look like post-Brexit.
On 22 September 2020, the Committee took evidence from experts on future UK-EU foreign policy and defence cooperation. The witnesses told the Committee that such cooperation with the EU would be essential. Then, on 27 October 2020, the Committee heard from experts on the UK’s new, post-Brexit sanctions policy. The experts told the Committee that alignment on sanctions would be important because this would strengthen their impact. Following the session, in an exchange of correspondence with the Foreign Secretary, the Committee sought clarification on how the Government intends to work with the EU on sanctions policy. In response, the Foreign Secretary said that the UK would “continue to discuss foreign policy and national security priorities with the EU and Member States.” But some questions remain.
Topics likely to be covered in the session include:
- What are the Government’s objectives in international development and foreign policy, and to what extent do these objectives require collaboration with the EU?
- How will cooperation on international development and foreign policy, including sanctions policy, work in practice?
- Does the UK wish to continue to influence EU foreign policy? If so, how will it seek to do so?
- How does the Government intend to mitigate the impact of Brexit on NGOs that rely on EU funding?