On Tuesday 21st February Adam asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an update on the work that they are doing to ensure Brexit leads to better diplomatic relations (52:46 to 53:48):
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support democracy in and (b) strengthen UK relations with countries in Africa. (908818)
Tobias Ellwood (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The UK’s links with Africa are profound. We spend almost £5 billion a year supporting Africa’s stability and prosperity. My Rt. Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary (Mr Johnson) last week visited The Gambia which recently saw its first democratic transfer of power, and in May my Rt. Hon Friend the Prime Minister (Mrs May) will host a major conference to agree a new international partnership for Somalia, demonstrating UK leadership and commitment to democracy and stability in Africa.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): There were also crowds of people to welcome us when we arrived in Ghana a week or two ago. Although we could not quite work out whether the welcome was for us or for the Minister for Trade and Investment, it was thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless.
It seems to me that the greater the number of trading connections that we forge, particularly in west Africa, the stronger the foundation on which to build good international relations will be. Does my right hon. Friend agree that withdrawal from the European customs union will give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost our diplomatic relations worldwide?
Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): I thank my hon. Friend for his work as trade envoy to Ghana. Indeed, I thank all our trade envoys, who do a fantastic job around the world. It is thanks to the efforts of my colleague the Minister for Trade and Investment and others that we are seeing increased trade with countries such as Ghana, and I was very proud to see British firms operating there. I believe that the largest single private sector employer in Ghana is a firm run by a Brit. We should all be proud of the contribution that those firms are making.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie, said:
“I am proud to be working as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, as we exit the EU and re-engage with trading partners around the world.
“Withdrawing from the European Customs Union will allow us to strike new trade deals with the rapidly growing economies of Africa and Asia.
“Conservatives recognise competition and trade lead to the best outcome for everyone regardless of their socio-economic background. That principle does not stop at the white cliffs of Dover.
“Not only is globalised free trade leading to rising prosperity in both the developed and developing world, it has also led to fascinating cultural exchanges and diaspora in its wake.
“Embracing our post-Brexit free trade future is about more than boosting exports in Pounds and pence. It is an opportunity to regain control of our country’s destiny and re-engage with the rest of the world.”
- Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
- He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
- He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
- He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
- He is Patron of the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) and was Chair of the PSC between 2010 and 2015.