This week, the Government has published the Integrated Review – a review into foreign policy, defence, security, and international development of the United Kingdom.
It is an extremely important publication which will cement our role as Global Britain – which has even more significance following the challenges we have faced because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many will know the significance of hosting the COP26 in November and all UK overseas aid will be aligned to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The clear manifesto promises of reaching Net Zero in 2025 is now set in law and this hosting responsibility will ensure as many attending nations will be encouraged to commit to the same.
This past year has made it even clearer how important Britain’s international policy is – not to mention its world-leading role in creating and administering a vaccine against Covid-19.
As well as COP26, The UK’s presidency of the G7 will cement the role this nation has on the world stage.
Importantly, it has already produced agreement to explore a global Treaty on Pandemic Preparedness, and thus securing Britain’s place as a science superpower and a hub of innovation and research. Following the extraordinary efforts of Britain’s brightest scientists, the potential is huge and that is why the commitment to increase investment in research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, is something we should all be extremely excited by.
There is also reason to feel positive about the trading future of Britain. Expanding trading relationships is a priority going forward and the Government has committed to signing trade agreements with countries covering 80 per cent of UK trade. The significance of committing to this by the end of 2022 shows the ambition and potential of championing free trade and – in turn – strengthening the World Trade Organisation.
We must grasp this opportunity to showcase all our strengths to the rest of the world and look forward to a brighter future post-pandemic.