The new Foreign Secretary has a very different job description
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The new Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, now faces the mammoth task of repairing Britain’s reputation as an out-going, ambitious world power. The world media has presented the Brexit vote as an inclusive and anti-global move by the British people, and now it is down to Johnson to spin this version of events in Britain’s favour. He has a long list of jobs that need completing as soon as possible and I do not envy the position he is in; however, I would like to question whether his list as long as his predecessors. With the appointment of a Secretary of State for Exiting the EU and a Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Foreign Office’s remit been dramatically reduced? Traditionally, the Foreign Secretary is responsible for representing British interests across the world, promoting British trade, diplomacy and dealing with the biggest international issues that involve Britain. However, with David Davis being appointed Brexit Secretary, Boris will have little responsibility in terms of drawing up EU exit negotiations. He will also probably not be the senior minister that foreign governments will want to speak to when arranging relations with the UK. On the other hand, we may see that even if Johnson is not always at the negotiating table, he will most likely be the minister who will be ‘doing the rounds’ with photo opportunities at all of the EU nation’s parliaments. As I mentioned before, the Foreign Secretary is traditionally the member of cabinet who travells the world urging states to trade more with Britain and reduce trade barriers as much as possible – but Liam Fox will now carry out this duty as the International Trade Secretary. So, Johnson’s responsibilities on this matter have been drastically reduced.
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