Is Whitehall keeping up with a fast-changing world?

30 August 2018

On Wednesday 5 September 2018 the House of Lords International Relations Committee will question two panels of witnesses as part of its 'UK Foreign Policy in Changed World Conditions' inquiry.

At 10.40am the Committee will hear from:

  • Sir Martin Donnelly KCB, CMG, Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade (2016-2017)
  • Sir Simon Fraser GCMG, Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service (2010-2015).

At 11.40am the Committee will hear from:

  • Bronwen Maddox, Director, Institute for Government
  • Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask both panels include:

  • To what extent has the information revolution, particularly the proliferation of digital technologies, affected the UK’s foreign policy?
  • How effectively do internationally-focused government departments and agencies cooperate with each other? Is there a problem with ‘siloisation’ between them?
  • What should be the UK’s key foreign policy priorities after Brexit?
  • How should the UK structure its foreign policy relationship with the key allies in Europe – and the EU broadly – after the leaving the EU?
  • To what extent has the UK Government articulated a clear foreign policy narrative to the public? What could the Government do to better communicate the UK’s foreign policy goals and priorities?
  • How significant is the private sector - such as major corporations - to the conduct of foreign policy? To what extent should the private sector be better engaged in international relations?

This evidence session, which is open to the public, will take place in Committee Room 4.

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