Dublin conference highlights Irish concerns on Brexit and international development

Dublin conference highlights Irish concerns on Brexit and international development

22 October 2018

Earlier this month, Dublin City University (DCU) Brexit Institute organised a conference to discuss the potential implications of Brexit on international development policy for both the EU and the U.K. I was invited to speak as Chair of the European Parliament Development Committee, alongside Irish Minister Ciaran Cannon. 

My view is that both the EU and the U.K. stand to lose out - but the loss of global influence will most affect the U.K. The EU is the world’s largest aid donor and the UK has played a key role shaping EU policy and pushing other governments to match its commitment to the 0.7% UN aid target: the UK is one of only 5 national governments in the EU to meet the 0.7% target of GDP and the only one to have a domestic law requiring it to do so. But by working as part of a team with the other 27 EU countries, the U.K. not only has a wider global “reach” for its aid, but is better able to influence discussions in other international fora such as the UN.

Linda with Ciaran Cannon - Minister of State for International Development, Ireland

The effects of Brexit and development policy is a neglected area in the current debate. But the UK and EU have worked incredibly well together on development policy and there are real mutual benefits in continuing to do so. There’s a lot of goodwill on the part of the EU in many areas of the Brexit negotiations to find good solutions to many issues, I hope development policy can be one of those too.

You can read more about these issues in this article I wrote for the European Centre for Development Policy Management here.

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