Brexit Cannot Come at the Expense of the Most Vulnerable
The world’s vulnerable are relying on a truly global Britain
The UK is a compassionate nation that doesn’t shy away from tackling the toughest global challenges. Whether it’s vaccinating millions of children from some of the most horrific diseases in human history or tackling the cumulative effects of climate change, the UK has a long and proud track record of global leadership. It was the first G7 country to deliver on the promise to spend at least 0.7% of gross national income on international development, and the first in the world to then write this commitment into law.
It has been this sort of leadership that has seen incredible progress made in the last 20 years; people are now living healthier lives, more girls are going to school, and less children are dying before the age of 5 because of countries like the UK. And as the country embarks on a new chapter in it’s history outside of the European Union, it cannot and must not recede from the world stage.
We must live up to — and reaffirm our commitment to — the bold promises we have made at home and abroad: to give 0.7% of our gross national income to international development aid; to end extreme poverty by 2030, a promise made two years ago in an historic show of unity when we agreed the global goals for sustainable development.
In short, the UK must continue its bold leadership on international development.
As thousands of people continue to make the treacherous journey to Europe from Syria and other conflict affected areas, we must not think that we are now immune to the refugee crisis. The UK has committed to take 20,000 refugees from camps in the Middle East. We must not be diverted from delivering this promise — and from doing much more to address this escalating crisis. And we must continue to abide by the international laws that protect refugees — the right to asylum, the right to basic services and safe places.
In this new political landscape it is more important than ever for the UK to be looking outside of its borders. If we are to tackle the world’s biggest challenges — gender inequality, poverty, climate change, terrorism, the refugee crisis — international cooperation is vital. We need coherent policies of countries working in concert, strong alliances and partnerships globally. As the UK recalibrates its position in the world, the poorest people in the world must not bear the brunt of the decision to leave the EU.