Conservative Commonwealth think tank launched

01-Oct-2019 @ 15:00

Nosheena Mobarik Nosheena Mobarik

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Conservative Commonwealth think tank launched

 

Britain and the Conservative Party must intensify their attention to the Commonwealth in developing a greater global outlook post-Brexit, a conference fringe event heard.

The rallying cry came from MEP Baroness Nosheena Mobarik as she announced the launch of a new Conservative think tank on Commonwealth policy.

Hosting a forum on Commonwealth ties, she said: "There is so much potential in so many areas, such as trade, environment policy, human rights, the promotion of the rule of law and good governance.

"Much is already being done and the current Government is making an important effort in this area, but so much more will need to be done to overcome years of neglect through many previous administrations."
 
Lady Mobarik, MEP for Scotland and Conservative trade spokesman in the European Parliament, highlighted her work as chair of the cross-party Commonwealth Forum in Brussels and the support it received from European Conservartives and Reformists Group (ECR).
 
She said: "The forum seeks to inform MEPs and the other EU institutions about the modern Commonwealth. The ECR has made supporting and promoting the Commonwealth in Brussels one of its concerns over recent years and I also chair the ECR’s Commonwealth Policy Group."

"Today I would like to announce that I am setting up a party-related think tank to develop policy ideas and encourage fresh thinking about our approach to Commonwealth affairs."

"It is to be called the Conservative Commonwealth Policy Network and details can already be found on Facebook. So we hope to use this network as a means of stimulating creative thinking about the Party’s Commonwealth policy."This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the modern Commonwealth so it is a particularly good time to rethink our Commonwealth commitments and engagement. Especially now, when the emphasis is on a global Britain as part of that post-Brexit laying out of priorities."  

"But I do believe that we have perhaps taken our Commonwealth links a little bit for granted and we need to open up a new conversation as to how these links can be nurtured and promoted going forward." 

"And what an amazing grouping of countries the Commonwealth is - 53 of them – from fledgling economies to emerging markets to highly developed ones – a real treasure trove of cultures and ethnicities, of landscapes and natural resources representing 2.4 billion people." 

"One of my priorities currently in Brussels is to make sure that the Commonwealth will continue to be promoted post-Brexit amongst the institutions once we leave." 

Speakers included Christopher Pincher, Minister of State in the Foreign Office; Mohamed Amersi, entrepreneur and chairman of the Amersi Foundation; and Mitchell Belfer, a professor at Prague University specialising in defence and security.
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