John Baron MP advocates fundamental review of foreign policy in new book

October 3, 2011
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‘The Future of Conservatism’ launched today at Party Conference

In a new book (‘The Future of Conservatism: Values Revisited’) launched today at party conference, John Baron MP advocates a fundamental review of British foreign policy. John was the only Conservative MP to vote against the Libyan intervention and our policy in Afghanistan, and resigned from the Conservative front bench in 2003 to vote against the Iraq war.

John said:

‘The nature of conflict itself is changing. The international stage has become more fluid and unpredictable, driven by secular trends which demand a fundamental review of Britain’s foreign policy.”

“War should always be the measure of last resort. Britain has forgotten this in recent years, with its aggressive interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Liberal interventionism has its limits. Promoting democracy through force of arms is often counter-productive – the seeds of democracy are spontaneously flourishing across North Africa and the Middle East, not in Iraq or Afghanistan. Persuasion has always been far more effective.”

“In this information age, success will depend not only on who prevails by force of arms but also who wins the story. Yet Britain is cutting its soft power capability by making cuts to the BBC World Service and the British Council. Such short-sightedness is beyond the comprehension of friend and foe alike.”

“We need a reassessment of certain relationships. We need to:

  • Re-examine the costs and benefits of EU involvement
  • Foster stronger ties with the Commonwealth, which has tremendous potential to be a greater force for good in the world.
  • Recognise that, when it comes to the US, a true friend is a critical friend when necessary.”

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