Johnson promises ‘overhaul’ of post-Brexit foreign policy as he launches review

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump Image copyright PA Media Image caption The UK is seeking to negotiate a new trade deal with both the US and the EU

The UK will “overhaul its approach to foreign policy” as part of a government review, the PM has announced.

No 10 says foreign policy experts will offer “constructive challenge to traditional Whitehall assumptions”.

Army procurement, the diplomatic service and tackling organised crime will be among the topics covered.

The report is also tasked with seeking “innovative ways” to promote UK interests while committing to defence and overseas aid spending targets.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised that the UK would continue to spend 0.7% of gross national income on international aid. The party also said it would exceed the Nato target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence.

The new government faces a number of foreign policy challenges including securing a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently predicted the two sides would “rip each other apart” during negotiations which are due to begin on Monday.

The UK is also hoping to secure a trade deal with the US but relations have been strained by the prime minister’s decision to use Huawei to build the 5G network in the face of US opposition.

The government is also keen to strengthen ties with China, but some of the prime minister’s own MPs – including Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Tom Tugendhat – have cautioned against allowing Chinese companies’ heavy involvement in projects such as the 5G network and HS2.

‘Constructive challenge’

Setting out details of the Integrated Review – first announced in December’s Queen’s Speech – No 10 said Brexit presents “new opportunities to define and strengthen Britain’s place in the world”.

Its remit, as set out by the government, is to:

  • Define the government’s ambition for the UK’s role in the world
  • Set out the way in which the UK will be a problem-solving and burden-sharing nation
  • Determine the capab


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