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Raab says UK can be global ‘force for good’

The Foreign Secretary will use the speech to warn that democracies and the institutions that underpin them are facing the greatest threat since the end of the Cold War.

Dominic Raab will declare that democracy is “in retreat” around the globe as he details why the UK still has a major role to play on the international stage.

Dominic Raab to deliver speech

The Foreign Secretary will use the speech to warn that democracies and the institutions that underpin them are facing the greatest threat since the end of the Cold War.

Dominic Raab’s speech at the US Aspen Security Forum will put forward the UK’s new foreign policy approach as autocratic states are due to eclipse the gross domestic product (GDP) of democracies. His comments follow the publication of the Government’s Integrated Review of foreign and defence policy which states plans to focus on the Indo-Pacific region in response to the rise of China.

Raab was questioned after being heard telling officials that the UK should strike trade deals with nations that do not meet international standards on human rights during a leaked video call. The Foreign Secretary will declare: “Democracy is in retreat. This decade, the combined GDP of autocratic regimes is expected to exceed the combined GDP of the world’s democracies, but think about what that means for a second. Tyranny is richer than freedom, and that matters to us here at home because stable, freedom-respecting democracies are much less likely to go to war, house terrorists or trigger large-scale flows of migrants, and they are generally, not always but generally, easier to trade with, and easier to co-operate with to solve our shared problems.”

Raab will vow that the UK will be a “force for good” in the world “because without power, without economic, military, diplomatic, cultural clout, we can do nothing”. The Integrated Review contains plans for the UK to increase its nuclear arsenal and keep a “cutting edge military and world-class diplomatic network” to maintain British influence.

Dominic Raab will state: “The Integrated Review provides a road map, guided by our moral compass, our history, and our present day mission as a force for good in the world. From our inventors to our entrepreneurs, from our diplomats and aid experts to our brave armed forces, all the people involved in delivering global Britain share the unifying sense that we are part of a shared planet. We believe that we can and should help alleviate the worst suffering in the world, that we have a moral responsibility and an indivisible stake in our planet, our global economy, our global ecosystem and the conditions of peace and stability that underpin them.”

During a question and answer session with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) staff, the Foreign Secretary said: “I squarely believe we ought to be trading liberally around the world. If we restrict it to countries with ECHR-level standards of human rights, we’re not going to do many trade deals with the growth markets of the future.

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