Following the CPF's consultations last year on Global Britain and the Post-Brexit Economy, representatives from 14 CPF groups across the country participated remotely in a roundtable discussion with the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss on “Britain and the Commonwealth over the next ten years”.
Discussion focused around four questions:
What is the future of trade between the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth?
The UK government has announced that it will merge DfID with the FCO. What does this mean for developing countries in the Commonwealth?
How can the UK work with other Commonwealth nations to improve educational attainment in every nation of the Commonwealth?
How can the UK work with other Commonwealth nations to become more resilient after the coronavirus pandemic?
The event had originally been planned for a year earlier, but then there was the Party’s leadership contest, then the general election, then the country’s lockdown… Despite the delays, the meeting was still timely and worthwhile. Participants commented afterwards, “It's exciting to know the work going on behind the scenes to make the most of these wonderful opportunities.” Others were reassured that “the secretary of state was very much in tune with our feelings on the available opportunities” and noted, “She is exactly the person we need batting for our side.”
Members were interested in the proposed “D10” initiative that Liz mentioned—a club of democratic partners, based on the G7 plus Australia, South Korea and India—and one wondered whether New Zealand should not also be included, as it is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and has a very high EIU democracy ranking.
Be sure to have your say in our latest discussion, on Infrastructure, Investment and Devolution. If your group is responsible for a particularly interesting policy proposal, you too may be invited to discuss your ideas in greater detail at the heart of government!