The UK’s foreign policy does not matter for the UK only. It matters for millions of poor and vulnerable people caught up in the conflicts where Oxfam works around the world. In diplomacy, as well as development, the UK can have a real impact on men, women, and children struggling to survive in the world’s war zones. UK foreign policy is at a crossroads, as one Prime Minister hands over the reins to another. For four years, foreign-policy discussions have been dominated by the debacle in Iraq. That is understandable – but dangerous. The danger is that, after Iraq, UK foreign policy could lurch to a much more cautious approach, turning away from trying to solve the world’s worst crises, with potentially catastrophic consequences for people in them. And by refusing to acknowledge some of the failings and inconsistencies of recent years, the UK could undermine many of the more positive steps it has taken.
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