UK Economics

REVEALED: Priti Patel ready to use £11BN foreign aid to build host of historic trade deals

THE NEW International Development Secretary has vowed to use Britain’s aid budget to help push for trade deals.

Priti Patel reportedly plans to use Britain’s foreign aid budget to boost trade
Priti Patel, who was one of the stars of the Vote Leave campaign, has said that the £11billion spent abroad should now be used to encourage countries to strike lucrative agreements with Britain.Promoted to the cabinet by , the former employment minister was one of the leading Vote Leave campaigners and has been a longstanding critic of international aid.
but now as Britain prepares for a prosperous post- era she sees a use for the 0.7 per cent of GDP spent on bailing out poorer countries.A source close to Mrs Patel said: “Britain’s international aid commitments mean it gets fantastic access to foreign leaders all round the world.

Priti PatelGETTY   Mrs Patel was a star of the Vote Leave campaign

“We can leverage existing relationships to strike trade deals.

It will be a completely fresh way of looking at Britain’s aid budget

A source

“The Department for International Development (Dfid) can be used to improve Britain’s standing in the world.“It will be a completely fresh way of looking at Britain’s aid budget.”Part of the Cameron/Osborne legacy was an increased spending on international aid despite crushing austerity for Britain’s policing, care for the elderly, child protection and other domestic priorities.

Theresa May's new cabinetGETTY   Theresa May appointed Mrs Patel International Development Secretary in her new cabinet

But despite handing out billions to foreign countries – excluding the £10bn which goes to Brussels – the former Prime Minister never managed to use the aid budget to benefit Britain’s trade.The low point came when India, which has received tens of millions in aid from the UK, awarded a contract for fighter jets to France instead.Mrs Patel is understood to have made an urgent priority to change the culture of aid and link it with the new trade deals being set up around the world for when Britain is free of Brussels rule.

Liam FoxGETTY   Liam Fox has met with Mrs Patel to coordinate their efforts

Already 27 countries, including a large number which receive aid from the UK, have expressed an interest in having a trade deal with Britain.And Mrs Patel has held meetings with the new Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a fellow Brexit campaigner, on coordinating their efforts to get the best possible deals for Britain.Mrs Patel recently strongly hinted at her new approach when she was appointed, when she said she wants to use Britain’s aid budget to help “our trading partners of the future”.

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