Sir John Major to give evidence on maintaining the UK's place in a changing world

11 December 2013


The House of Lords Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence will next week hold three evidence sessions with high-profile witnesses as they conclude their inquiry.

On Monday 16 December from 4:10pm in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords the Committee will take evidence from:

  • 4:10pm Rt Hon Sir John Major, former Prime Minister
  • 5:15pm Tara D. Sonenshine, former Under Secretary for Public

Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the US Department of State, and Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council during the Clinton Administration (via videoconference).

The Committee will likely question Sir John Major about the impact that the first Gulf War – during his Premiership – had on the Middle East; on the lessons of the peace process in Northern Ireland; and about the impact that the UK’s membership of and relationship with the EU has on its influence overseas. Sir John has recently issued warnings about the UK paying a ‘severe price’ if it were to leave the EU.

On Wednesday 18 December from 10:15am in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords the Committee will hear from Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Minister for International Security Strategy, Ministry of Defence.

The Committee are expected to ask the witnesses about how the Foreign Office and MoD are reacting to a changing world in which Asia and Africa are becoming more important; how the Ministry of Defence works with civilians in countries like Afghanistan to secure the UK’s objectives overseas; and how separate Government Departments coordinate their work to best represent the UK’s interests abroad.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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