As we leave the EU, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to go global. Since coming to Parliament eight years ago, I have been campaigning for a new model of aid, trade and security. By refocusing our aid money around a comprehensive trade and security deal with some of the world's fastest growing markets, we can develop exciting new opportunities for UK services and technology. We have the once-in-a-generation chance to help feed, fuel and heal the world.
Here are two of my big ideas:
I was elected to Parliament in May 2010 after a 15-year career in and around the Cambridge cluster supporting high growth businesses. Consequently, I have written and spoken widely on the potential of Britain's science and innovation economy to support a sustainable economic recovery, unlocking huge trade and inward investment opportunities in fast emerging global markets.
One of my first jobs in government was as Trade Envoy to the Philippines - the trade delegation I have brought with me to the islands represented some of the best of UK capability in the oil and gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. I was proud to be part of the effort to sell our goods to global markets and show that this Government is backing British business.
I have been fortunate enough to visit Lebanon twice since I was elected to Parliament, seeing first-hand the work being carried out by the Department for International Development, Save the Children and the Gates Foundation to help Syrian refugees. UK aid has helped transform hundreds of thousands of lives. In 2017, 149,000 children have already been supported to gain a decent education and 312,000 people now have sustainable access to clean water and/or sanitation.
As we leave the EU, I believe we must seriously up our game at building comprehensive partnerships with strategically important countries, like Lebanon, where so much of our wider insecurity will be shaped in the coming years. Our world-class commitment to aid is a vital part of this cooperation, as is defence and security support, but they must be complemented by building creative trading partnerships that export the best of British and make us the partner of choice for developing economies.
Fundamentally, I believe that British foreign policy should be based on the three pillars of trade, aid and security. Using the UK’s great strength as a leading knowledge economy, we can help export our skills and services and change the world around us for the better; providing security and economic opportunity for emerging markets around the world.
Links to coverage of my work in this space: