Monday 28 September 2009

Miliband: Britain as a "hub", rather than a bridge.

"The problem with bridges is that they get walked over," said David Miliband, in discussion at the Fabian Labour conference fringe event “David Miliband in Conversation: How Labour will win a fourth term on foreign policy.”

Rejecting the idea of Britain as a bridge between America and Europe, Miliband said: “Some people want to believe that you can have a special relationship with the US without having a relationship with anyone else. The fact that Britain is at the heart of the EU is good for the special relationship."

“What has come together in a post world war, post cold war world is that power is shifting from west to east. It is shifting from governments and markets to individuals. That poses challenges for foreign policy. For Britain it is not to be a bridge but a hub."

Miliband made it clear that Britain's foreign policy is distinctive: "It is important that people know that we stand up for our own values and laws."

“What is Britain’s role? We can develop a distinctive answer to that. Hillary Clinton talked about smart power. The fact that we are the country with the fastest growing aid budget, but willing to do the difficult things is important. “

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