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Johnson’s Win Is a Loss for British Power

Summary:
Having secured an electoral mandate, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will likely barrel ahead with previously outlined plans to abolish the country's foreign-development agency and assign its duties to diplomats in the foreign office. But while diplomacy and development are both crucial to British soft power, they are hardly the same thing. LONDON – With Brexit dominating the United Kingdom’s agonizing general election this month, a number of momentous policy proposals have received little to no discussion. Chief among these is right-wing Conservatives’ plan to abolish the UK Department for International Development. Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured a parliamentary majority, the DFID could soon be

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Having secured an electoral mandate, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will likely barrel ahead with previously outlined plans to abolish the country's foreign-development agency and assign its duties to diplomats in the foreign office. But while diplomacy and development are both crucial to British soft power, they are hardly the same thing.

LONDON – With Brexit dominating the United Kingdom’s agonizing general election this month, a number of momentous policy proposals have received little to no discussion. Chief among these is right-wing Conservatives’ plan to abolish the UK Department for International Development. Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured a parliamentary majority, the DFID could soon be subsumed into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which would then take charge of administering Britain’s £14 billion ($18.6 billion) annual aid budget.

As I pointed out earlier this year, the Conservatives’ plan would essentially solve one big problem – the rundown of Britain’s diplomatic service – by creating a much larger problem: the loss of Britain’s soft power. The...

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