Dan Banik and Mark Miller discuss the narrative of "Global Britain", the merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign Office and the impact of aid cuts.
Following Brexit, Britain has expressed a desire to play an important new role in world affairs. The idea of "Global Britain" has thus made a comeback with free trade as its core element. Indeed, Global Britain appears to be a catchy label for the UK’s ambition to look beyond Europe for new commercial opportunities and pathways to global influence. But critics argue that “A positive image of Global Britain must be earned, not declared.” And that the narrative of Global Britain will only be meaningful if and when the ambitious vision is backed up with extra investments. Of particular concern to the global development community has been the recent cuts to the UK’s aid budget, which some argue will adversely affect Britain’s power and global influence. There has also been considerable criticism of the government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development (or DFID) with the Foreign Office.
Mark Miller is the director of the Overseas Development Institute’s work on development and public finance. His research interests include how states can build the capabilities to effectively manage their public finances and the future of development cooperation in the UK.
Mark Miller, Dan Banik, In Pursuit of Development