I have had a number of organised campaign emails from constituents regarding the FCO and DFID merger. This is my reply to those emails.
Regarding FCO and DFID, the current crisis shows just how important it is that development and diplomatic efforts are fused together more closely, in order to maximise our international impact and make the biggest difference to people’s lives. The UK has been at the heart of the international effort to tackle Covid-19, which shows the good that this country can do through our international engagement.
I welcome the Prime Minister’s reassurance that the merger is not about rolling back commitments on international development, but about pursuing them with greater effect, and that reducing poverty will remain central to the UK’s international work. The UK remains committed to spending 0.7 per cent of GNI on international development, being the only G7 country to have enshrined this in legislation. I am glad that this merger will mean that, within the new Department, we will see all the idealism and sense of mission that comes from DFID, alongside an understanding of the need to project UK values, UK policies and UK interests overseas.