Foreign Office weighs up opening North of England office – Financial Times

At the British Foreign Policy Group, we have been thinking about how best to engage the country’s regions and constituent nations in the UK’s foreign policy. The Financial Times reports that officials are debating opening a branch of the Foreign Office in Manchester, or locating staff in government centres North of London, in a push on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Global Britain’ agenda.

Over the last few months, in collaboration with the Foreign Office, the British Foreign Policy Group has been running ‘a series of listening events around the country, to hear how different cities are developing international links.’

Director of the British Foreign Policy Group, Sophia Gaston, said to the Financial Times: “In many ways, this approach puts the Foreign Office at the forefront of the government’s levelling-up agenda — it is about shifting our foreign policy conversation from the dusty corridors of Whitehall, to recognise that it must be more inclusive and relevant to the whole of the UK and the specific needs and interests of its regions.”

Sophia went on to say that: “The election campaign made clear that foreign policy is becoming fused on to this new framework of social and political polarisation, and I think the interest in engaging outside of London on this issue reflects the government’s understanding of the need to build a degree of consensus of support around its Global Britain agenda.”

Next, the British Foreign Policy Group is in Dundee, to discuss the city’s international perspectives and ambitions. Tickets are available here.

You can read the full article here.

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Financial Times