The Prime Minister has announced that the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office will merge, uniting development and diplomacy in one new department that brings together Britain’s international effort.
- This is exactly the moment when Britain must mobilise every one of our national assets, including our aid budget and expertise, to safeguard British interests and values overseas - the best possible instrument for doing that will be a new department charged with using all the tools of British influence to seize the opportunities ahead.
- Work will begin immediately on the merger. The new department – the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – will be established in early September and will be led by the Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Secretary will be empowered to make decisions on aid spending in line with the UK’s priorities overseas, harnessing the skills, expertise and evidence that have earned our reputation as a leader in the international development community.
- We will place UK Aid at the heart of what we do, leveraging the development expertise of DFID through the reach of the FCO’s global network. The new department won’t roll back on our commitments to International Development including spending 0.7 per cent of GNI on development.
- This merger is an opportunity to link security, prosperity, development to ensure all of our international efforts are fused together and the UK speaks with one voice overseas, we recover from the coronavirus pandemic and prepare to hold the G7 presidency and host COP26 next year.
- As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Government is bringing this country’s strengths and expertise to bear on the world’s biggest problems and we need to ensure that the Government is set up to deliver that.