Foreign Affairs


 ONE’s Campaign For Real Aid

I have received emails relating to the above campaign which calls on the UK government to guarantee that all UK aid is effective, transparent, and targeted at ending extreme poverty.

I agree with many of the aims of this campaign and am a supporter of our aid budget and the excellent work of DFID across the world. However, I do believe that tying aid is acceptable, because it can assist in holding governments to higher standards. However, I would emphasise that most aid is not given directly to governments but rather a wide range of projects.  


Loans to developing countries

The UK is working through the G20 to promote sovereign debt transparency and sustainability, particularly for low income developing countries. UK-based lenders are subject to extensive prudential disclosure requirements under UK prudential and accounting law, including for material loans made to foreign Governments, which appropriately reflect firms’ exposures. Compliance with these requirements are independently assessed by the relevant UK regulator during their supervisory activities.


UN Global Compact on Migration 

The UK Government is supportive of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, both as a step forward in international co-operation to tackle irregular migration and as a framework to help us deliver our commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our participation in the Global Compact will not affect our continued ability to determine and implement our own migration policy in the national interest. The Compact is a ‘non-legally binding, cooperative framework’, which reaffirms the sovereign right of States to determine their national migration policy.

The Migration Compact aims to bolster international cooperation by providing a framework to implement regular and managed migration through effectively managing our borders and returning those with no right to remain.


Political Prisoners in Bahrain

The UK has an open dialogue with the Government of Bahrain on a range of issues, including human rights. The UK continues to encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to report these to the relevant human rights oversight bodies. The UK urges these bodies to carry out swift and thorough investigations.


Arms Exports 

The Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) of licences granted and refused for military exports on GOV.UK, which can be found at:

Export licence applications are carefully assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. A licence would not be granted if to do so was inconsistent with the Criteria. The policy remains as announced to parliament in a Written Ministerial Statement on 25 March 2014 ( and updated with an additional policy, as announced in a Written Ministerial Statement on 13 September 2018 (