DEFID Secretary Patel Should be Supported for Using Aid to Promote UK Interest

Now we hear that Department for  International Development DEFID  will “leverage” its £11 billion foreign aid budget to build a series of new trade deals as it leaves the European Union.  Priti Patel, Secretary of State for DEFID efforts should be applauded and supported not sneered at as the British left is trying to do

Priti Patel, who last month became the the Secretary of State for DEFID, the very department  she wanted to abolish a few years ago, and her ministers will use meetings with foreign leaders from countries that receive foreign aid to “open the door” to new deals.

Current  rules bar Britain from explicitly tying trade deals to foreign aid, Mrs Patel plans to use the department’s budget in Britain’s “national interest”  to help with the Brexit process. Ms Patel, who was a high profile Vote Leave campaigner,  has already held meetings with Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, to discuss how they can use Britain’s foreign aid budget to bolster trade deals.

Expect loud  protest from the left lead by bbc, but this has been many backbenchers ( of both parties ) demand for long time reflecting concerns by their constituents especially in areas suffering from cuts to public services.

Britain is just about the only countries that gives aid without questions (we still give aid to countries like China and India).

America ( and most countries) foreign aid comes with conditions like buying American products and getting American construction contractors to build projects and manage them in the countries recipient of the aid. Aids linked to education and training have conditions attached like sending those countries graduates for higher education training in American institutions

Call me old fashioned but foreign aid is one of the tools of diplomacy which itself is an instrument of foreign policy . Common sense indicates that foreign policy should be designed to serve national interest not as a shop-window for politicians vanity or to be serving other entities projects like EU or UN or USA. DEFID secretary Patel is on the right track and should be supported.

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