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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Continue to champion British values around the globe

Last updated: 08:42pm 11 December 2019

We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.22

Our verdict

In 2006, the Fabian Society held a conference on the Future of Britishness at which Gordon Brown gave the keynote speech. That event and that speech were part of a growing political interest in British identity and values which has rumbled on ever since. Something very similar to the definition of British values in this policy was first officially outlined in the Prevent Strategy in 2011, and schools are now required to actively promote fundamental British values. Whatever disagreements there may be about how British values are defined, this policy is a promise to champion freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law around the world.

Broadly, this policy aims to ensure that Britain is a force for good on the global stage. There are many other policies in the manifesto which, if fulfilled, would help to achieve that goal. Click through the links in “Related Policies” below to see our verdicts for each individual promise.

In May 2019, the Foreign Secretary appointed the UK’s first International Ambassador for Human Rights, a role with three main objectives:

  • enhance the UK’s profile and leadership, including at the UN Human Rights Council
  • work with other countries to support and advance human rights
  • promote the UK’s priority campaigns

That appointment of an international ambassador to defend and advance human rights, alongside many of the actions outlined in related policies listed below, is evidence of the UK government continuing to champion the values of “freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law”. This policy is ‘done’.

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