Britain in the World
Britain's foreign policy is focussed on protecting and promoting the UK's interests abroad and at home - defending our security and enhancing our prosperity.
In this rapidly globalising world, the UK has a major stake in ensuring that the international community responds effectively to the challenges of the 21st century. We believe our interests are best pursued in a world in which countries share progressive principles and values, and in which governments work together peacefully on the basis of international law. That is why we have a foreign policy that is values-driven, activist and multilateralist. Britain has played a key - and often a driving - role in major international achievements in the last decade.
In the decades to come, we will need to commit to continued international engagement and promotion of our values as the best way of ensuring security at home. We need to work with our allies and partners vigorously to promote democracy, justice, freedom and human rights. To achieve this we need to:
- strengthen global governance: we need more effective international institutions, including a more representative UN Security Council, further reform of the IMF and World Bank, and a strengthened African Union;
- sustain our efforts against weapons proliferation and international terrorism, and work for peace and stability in the Middle East;
- win the battle of ideas and values: some of Al Qaeda's main weapons are ideological and media-oriented. We need to be more effective at telling our side of the story and explaining our values, in order to expose distortions in their vision of the world;
- champion an effective and outwardlooking EU: building on the success of the past 10 years, we need to remain the champion of an open and outward-looking EU, which is focused on facing up to the major economic, environmental, security and migration issues;
- maximise Britain's military capability: we want to remain a first class military power. The UK will need to be able to deploy military force, where necessary, to safeguard our security against a range of potential threats and adversaries and in pursuit of broader goals such as conflict resolution and humanitarian relief;
- build new strategic alliances: using our position within the EU and our relationship with the US as a platform, we need to reach out to new emerging powers and strengthen our current alliances. Beyond this, we need to work with faith groups, the business community and NGOs to create coalitions for change;
- take a strategic approach to conflict prevention and nation-building: Whitehall needs to take a strategic and long-term approach to international security and conflict issues; and
- lead international efforts to fight global poverty, tackle climate change and promote free and fair trade.