Persuasion and Power in the Modern World - Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK's Influence Contents

Chapter 4: The UK's soft power assets: their role and function

81.  The effective deployment of the UK's power, both in its own direct interests and those of the wider world, requires firstly a fresh recognition of the assets and tools at its disposal in a radically transformed and intensely connected world. Secondly, it requires fresh thinking about how best these assets and tools should be used. As our witnesses have made very clear, the days are long gone when this nation's, or any nation's, power could be measured in the size of its military forces, or in traditional patterns of enforcement. New, softer and smarter methods must now be combined with older approaches in order to secure and promote the UK's interests and purposes.

82.  Chapters two and three of this Report discussed the central importance of soft power and smart power in the modern world milieu. Chapter five will specify ways in which the Government and policy-makers, by direct or indirect methods, could improve their approach to soft and smart power deployment. This Chapter makes an inventory of the UK's rich panoply of soft power strengths and assets. The guardianship and projection of much of the UK's soft power lies outside the control or reach of Government. But full recognition of what the UK possesses in this field is, of course, the essential precondition both for preserving and strengthening the nation's soft power potential, and for avoiding damage to what has already been built up—resources and strengths whose value has sometimes been neglected rather than nourished.

83.  As we shall show, both neglect and negative policy measures have certainly played a part in weakening the UK's performance in the past—a pattern that we suggest can now be remedied and repaired to some extent. The British Council told us that "Knowing when to get out of the way and avoiding undermining the UK's soft power is a key challenge for Government". The Council concluded that "The UK has been getting the mix broadly right"[226]; we feel that there are areas for improvement.

84.  The analysis below does not present a soft power instruction booklet. As Chapter three demonstrated, successfully wielding soft power requires far more than simply directing certain messages to certain audiences, not least because potential 'audiences' intertwine and overlap. We emphasise that if the UK is to benefit from its significant soft power potential, the Government need to recognise that some of the bigger gains will only emerge over time and as conditions evolve. An overemphasis on immediate returns on investment will dilute the urgent attention that the pursuit and exercise of soft power require.

85.  We recognise that today's straitened economic circumstances make public policy choices difficult. But as Jonathan McClory told us, the global trends explored in Chapters two and three "will make the tools and approaches of soft power more, not less, important to achieving foreign policy objectives, from security to prosperity".[227] The task for the Government will be to build on the UK's strengths, support the already evident success of soft power projection in many fields, and avoid the false economies of short-termism in areas where results take time to mature. Some of our proposals below involve relatively small levels of additional expenditure. We emphasise that investment now will realise significant future returns, not least because it is cheaper to support established and successful soft power assets now than it would be to attempt to regenerate neglected assets later, when the benefits of soft power become even clearer. We agree with the British Academy that "governments need to make investments in critical areas such as the BBC, higher education and the arts, and then to hold their nerve when payoffs are not immediately visible".[228] In addition, the Government need to express honestly to the public that successes in the generation of soft power may come only from long-term commitments.

86.  The overarching priorities of national policy are enduring and easily stated. They are encapsulated in the words 'security' and 'prosperity'. But in new world conditions we have to understand how the channels of soft power generation and deployment underpin and reinforce these broad aims. The catalogue of benefits from soft power that we have drawn from our evidence and discussions runs broadly as follows:

·  securing greater protection for the UK's citizens by reducing the likelihood of attack, building alliances, and increasing international goodwill;

·  reducing hostility towards the UK;

·  winning friends and supporters for the UK's values;

·  dealing with threats that can only be tackled internationally;

·  opening the way for greatly expanded trade in British goods and services and challenging trade barriers, visible and covert;

·  promoting large-scale investment flows, both inwards and outwards and increasing the attractiveness of the UK as a place in which to invest; and

·  supporting the UK's internal cohesion and social stability.

87.  We see the new and existing channels of soft power influence and communication (catalogued below) as fulfilling these aims by enabling the UK to:

·  connect to specific individuals, groups and governments overseas;

·  connect to overseas publics in general by facilitating public 'access' to the UK's attractive attributes, by enhancing the UK's visibility and reputation, and by providing global public goods (services and outcomes that many people want); and

·  influence global norms, by putting the country in influential positions.

Shaping foreign policy to gain soft power

88.  Professor Nye identified a country's soft power as originating from not only its culture and its political values, but also its foreign policy. A country may derive soft power by impressing publics overseas through its foreign policy when it is seen to be legitimate and to possess moral authority.[229] Evidence suggested that the Government have a key role in "living up to" the UK's political values, and implementing foreign policies that are viewed both as legitimate and as having moral authority.[230] The Humanitarian Intervention Centre likewise reported that a country's soft power derived largely from its foreign policies, "particularly where those policies reflect the perceived legitimacy of the state and are a manifestation of its moral authority".[231] The Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies considered that the UK needed to ensure that its actions were "values-based".[232]

89.  To be attractive and influential, in the view of Indra Adnan a country must "develop a clear moral stance on the future and be consistent rather than opportunistic".[233] When governments govern according to ethical, democratic, transparent and accountable principles, soft power results.[234] For Professor Rawnsley, this means that the British Government need to "act responsibly" and according to the UK's "principles and traditions of democracy, free speech, human rights, rule by law and transparency".[235] According to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK's adherence to the principles of international behaviour and its ability to win the backing of mainstream international opinion will become increasingly important in a world in which legitimacy of foreign policy is so vital that as he put it, it "has a concrete force".[236]

90.  The Humanitarian Intervention Centre argued that on the international stage the UK is, for the most part, "highly respected for its moral conscience and standing which is based to a large extent on its rigorous upholding of the rule of law, protection of human rights and engagement with the international legal system".[237] The UK is a signatory to all major human rights treaties, the International Criminal Court and the Council of Europe, and advocates for the protection of human rights in Europe and across the world. In the Centre's view, this position was underscored by the UK's condemnation of atrocities committed in Syria, and by the work that the UK has undertaken in developing the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.[238] According to the British Council, the work of the FCO in promoting human rights abroad is "incredibly important to the UK's reputation", and "speaking out against repression, intolerance and criminality builds trust" with the victims of abuse and the "silent majority" who despise injustice.[239] The Government told us that the UK has become the first country to set out guidance to companies on integrating human rights into their operations. Through the Business and Human Rights Action Plan, launched in September 2013, the UK "will use [its] international reputation for high corporate standards and respect for human rights to help British companies succeed in a way that is consistent with [UK] values".[240]

91.  We also heard how the UK plays a key role in negotiating international treaties, including leading the way in securing international adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty in 2013 by working to build a broad coalition of support. For the Humanitarian Intervention Centre, this was "something which it would not have been able to do without its moral and legal standing"—a case of a virtuous circle in which the UK's reputation assisted it in securing an achievement that further enhanced its stature.[241]

92.  Liberal intervention and military power can also be "used as soft power instruments to increase the UK's legitimacy at home and abroad", according to the Humanitarian Intervention Centre, which argued that international and unilateral intervention can bring the UK "a soft power legacy within affected countries".[242] Professor Nye, the British Council and the Humanitarian Intervention Centre each cited the example of the UK's intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000-01. What the UK achieved using coercive hard power produced soft power in terms of "admiration", Professor Nye told us, and according to the British Council the UK's "global reputation was enhanced" as a result.[243] In the aftermath, UK military power secured an environment "where development assistance, education reform, capacity building and reconciliation work could be taken forward".[244] In April 2013 Sierra Leone's Minister of Defence declared that the UK was his country's "most important bilateral partner" in its ongoing development. Professor Nye felt that the intervention had also made the UK more attractive in other parts of Africa.[245] Joint military exercises, military action as part of coalitions, and the UK's military contribution to NATO also serve to strengthen the UK's international relationships through forming cross-border connections.[246]

93.  Yet a country's policies can also undermine its attractiveness. Professor Nye reported that while American culture was widely seen as attractive, "American policies are very unattractive", particularly in large parts of the Muslim world where policies that grew out of the 'war on terror' have alienated many. The result was that "in some places policies are undercutting soft power, even where culture and values may still be enhancing soft power, but if the policies are unpopular enough that becomes the dominant hand in the issue".[247] The UK's soft power can suffer when the British Government make policy choices that go against public opinion, Professor Rawnsley argued. For him, the UK's 2003 intervention in Iraq, and "collaboration" in the "War on Terror", both undermined the country's soft power.[248] Nicholas Beadle, CMG, Senior Associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, considered how over the past decade, British military operations have had a profound effect on international perceptions of the UK, whether it was "seen as a staunch ally in the war against terrorism" or as "a nation that is an aggressor intent on damaging, for example, the Islamic religion".[249]

94.  Maximising the influence that the UK is able to bring to bear in the world depends not just on overseas perceptions of the UK's foreign policy, but also on the country being in a position of maximum leverage. The UK's relationships with other states have an important effect on the country's ability to exert its influence, as well as on the UK's standing itself (the states with which a country is allied speak volumes about that country). Dr Jamie Gaskarth, Deputy Director of the School of Government at Plymouth University, argued that the Government should "announce a reappraisal of Britain's identity in world politics. In a world of rising powers and relative decline of Britain's traditional allies, the UK needs to reappraise how it sees itself, who it needs to reach out to and attract, and what policies will enable it [to] do so". He referred to recent parliamentary inquiries into national strategy and foreign policy that "have called for just such a re-examination but have thus far gone unheeded".[250] As the Government examine the UK's geopolitical situation, they need to refine the country's role to ensure that they and other UK actors are able to maximise both the UK's attractiveness and the benefit gained from the country's soft power.

95.  Discussing the UK's place on the world stage, Sir John Major told us:

    "I would like us to be a bit more self-confident and proactive in our policies. … We are not some tiny little country pushed to one side. We are still a big country in the eyes of the world and a powerful and influential country. We should be more confident about launching initiatives on our own, if necessary, in terms of international problems. … I do not think it would hurt us to take positions independent of our principal allies from time to time. If we have a slightly different view, I do not think it diminishes our alliances with them if we said so, whether that is Europe or whether that is the United States".[251]

96.  We agree heartily with Sir John Major's view of the UK's position. We consider that the UK has much to offer the world, particularly because its history has bequeathed it both a global perspective and a deep understanding of most of the world's regions. It also enjoys alliances with many of the world's nations, both great and rising. The UK must therefore not accept any putative foreign policy choice between acting as a poodle of Washington or a lapdog of Brussels. The UK must chart its own course at the centre of a networked and transformed world in which it has significant comparative advantages.

97.  Dr Christina Rowley of the University of Bristol told us that "the UK does not want to project an image of itself as a colonial power, but nor should it want to deny that aspect of its history, and how its present place in the world is fundamentally built upon that colonial past". She considered that the UK was likely to attract friends and establish enduring relationships with others by "'Owning up to' and owning those aspects of the UK's past and present that it is less proud of, as well as publicising the good—deploying honesty, modesty (perhaps even a touch of humility now and then), in its dealings with others".[252] We urge those shaping the UK's foreign policy to act with greater confidence on the international stage, particularly in the Commonwealth, and not be reluctant to play a global role because of the complexity of the UK's colonial history.[253] It must demonstrate that it is willing to listen to other countries and take into account grievances, concerns and alternative perspectives while offering a positive narrative about creating new mutual benefits and solutions.[254] For instance, it should "respect and understand the BRIC markets on their own terms rather than as a passive recipient of traditional British goods".[255]

Supporting diplomacy that works

98.  The UK's soft power is enhanced by the strength of its diplomatic network.[256] Jack Straw MP told us that he was "in no doubt that a strong diplomatic presence produces high dividends for the United Kingdom" and applauded the efforts of the current Foreign Secretary to extend it.[257] FCO Minister the Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP maintained that the FCO has responded to global power shifts by redeploying FCO resources to reflect better the priority markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.[258] There are now additional diplomatic positions in 23 emerging markets. By 2015, 20 new British diplomatic posts will have opened, with 300 more staff in emerging economies, including in South Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Angola, Argentina, Peru, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.[259] The Prime Minister said in Davos in January 2013 that "We're now one of only three European countries to be represented in every single country in ASEAN and we have the largest diplomatic network in India of any developed nation".[260]

99.  As we discussed in paragraph 37, the FCO no longer possesses a soft power monopoly in Whitehall as other Government Departments expand their global footprints.[261] These Departments, and government bodies and agencies, are making direct contributions to the UK's soft power. The UK's policing, intelligence and justice institutions share their expertise with a number of other countries.[262] While the central FCO's role may be diminishing, Embassies are becoming more important (as we discussed in paragraph 37). Ambassadors are now called upon to support all of the UK's ambitions in the networked world and global marketplace. We therefore consider that better coordination of the UK's overseas activities will require the Government to commit more resources to the Embassy network.

100.  Dr Robin Niblett told us that "the UK's diplomatic capabilities remain under-funded, from compensation levels to technology infrastructure to overall staff numbers".[263] Lord Jay worried that:

    "There is a risk of our being so short staffed that we cannot properly serve all the places we believe we should have our Embassies in. I worry slightly about what I understand the policy is at the moment of cutting back on people going out from London and depending more on local staff in a lot of our Embassies. You need to have people from London there, and they are not going to be good diplomats if they have not had the training earlier on in their career in lower positions in Embassies … There is a genuine question as to whether we have enough staff now involved in the Diplomatic Service to carry out the policies the Government would like us to".[264]

The Government reported that of 127 UK overseas posts with five or fewer UK-based FCO staff at the end of last year, 38 had two UK-based staff FCO and 32 just one FCO staff member from the UK. Forty-seven posts were recorded as having "No UK Based [FCO staff] or UK Based [FCO staff] recorded elsewhere".[265] The figures compare to the 92 posts that have six or more UK-based FCO staff.[266] These data suggest, therefore, that 64.5 per cent of FCO overseas posts have five or fewer UK-based FCO staff members, with fully 17.7 per cent of posts unable to record a British FCO staff presence.[267]

101.  Embassies are now 'super-facilitators', facilitating contacts abroad for British businesses and other organisations and then standing aside while new relationships develop. The global redistribution of power away from governments means that the Embassy network needs to be supported more than ever, and Embassy resourcing strengthened.[268] We welcome the Government's ambition to reopen diplomatic posts across the world, particularly in the BRIC countries and Latin America.[269] But we are concerned that at a time when such posts have become vital to British soft power, the Government might have spread the UK's diplomatic representation too thinly.[270]

102.  Ambassadors are now required to be polymaths, and need training in a wide range of skills. The Committee recognises that spending constraints currently prevent the Government from providing much in the way of extra compensation to acknowledge this increased level of responsibility, but we urge the Government to ensure that remuneration and career structures allow the FCO to retain the most able.[271]

103.  Professor Rawnsley underlined that the time "when diplomats could dismiss engagement with the media as trivial or the work of the press office has long gone; in the digital age … characterised by the 24/7 flow of global information demanding instant responses, all members of an overseas post are public diplomats".[272] The Government have recently announced that they intend to establish a Diplomatic Academy to teach public diplomacy skills.[273] They should seek to learn from US practice in this area. Tara Sonenshine informed the Committee that "All of our Embassies now have expertise in public diplomacy, local contact with local media, with citizens".[274] Crucially, diplomats receive relevant instruction. "Many are trained at the Foreign Service Institute, taking courses in public diplomacy, social media, online, business contact, trade and travel", Ms Sonenshine said.[275] She explained that the State Department budget oversees 3,540 public diplomacy and public affairs positions.[276] British diplomats should be equipped to react quickly and flexibly when public diplomacy opportunities arise.[277]

104.  The era-shifting rise of social media will require the UK's official representatives to keep abreast of the skills that public diplomacy now demands. We therefore recommend that all UK diplomats receive professional training in public diplomacy. Since their words and actions will now inevitably be reported online, diplomats must learn how to manage their digital presence.[278] How they decide to achieve this will vary according to the individual diplomat and the context in which they are working. Some diplomats will already have familiarity with social media; some contexts require more face-to-face interaction; other contexts still will demand that diplomats employ "'old' media" such as a "newsletter [or] a series of receptions".[279] Government representatives should make use of all the methods and technologies that they have at their disposal to communicate effectively. In the hyper-connected world, UK diplomats will need always to be aware of the power of social media, and competent in their use of it.[280]

105.  We heard conflicting evidence about whether the Government have shifted funding from the FCO public diplomacy budget to resource an international marketing campaign (the GREAT Campaign, established in 2011).[281] It is clear that the Government have abandoned a centralised public diplomacy fund—the separate funding stream for the FCO Public Diplomacy Campaign, which had been allocated a budget of £1.7 million in 2009-10, was scrapped as part of the 2010 emergency budget. The FCO have stated that "The work stream continues to have access to wider Public Diplomacy funds to support communications work at Post but the accent is now very much on no or low cost ways of doing business as well as increased use of commercial sponsorship".[282] This decision concerned Dr James Pamment because it put a much stronger focus on an "economic component" of soft power.[283] We urge the Government to keep under review their decision to decentralise public diplomacy funding.[284] When making funding commitments, the FCO should consider how best to spend public money to achieve the widest possible soft power impact.

106.  Foreign language capabilities are of critical importance in diplomacy, and the growing requirement for diplomats to engage directly with overseas publics will only make such skills more necessary.[285] The Committee therefore welcomes the re-opening of the FCO's Language Centre.[286] We hope that the Government will go further, however. Because so many Departments now have international dimensions, we follow the British Academy in recommending that the Government should conduct an audit of the language skills of civil servants across all Departments. The Government would not need to spend a great deal on such an exercise, but being able to draw upon all of the Government's language skills would bring sizeable advantages for officials working overseas or with foreign counterparts.[287]

Making the most of the Armed Forces in a changing world

107.  Steve McCarthy, the MOD's Director of International Security Policy, pointed us towards the importance of using the UK's military power to carry out non-martial tasks in order to make a contribution to the Government's broader objectives: what he called "international defence engagement".[288] The FCO and MOD launched the UK's International Defence Engagement Strategy in February 2013.[289] In addition, representatives of the MOD, DFID and the FCO are members of the Building Stability Overseas Board, which manages a line of funding of around £200 million a year known as the conflict prevention pool. This is used to fund joined-up security, stability and capacity building activity in areas that are at risk of instability or conflict, as well as the UK's contribution to the UN peacekeeping budget.[290]

108.  Partly funded by this pool, Lt General Simon Mayall CB, the MOD's Defence Senior Adviser for Middle East, told us that he works in the Middle East and North Africa as a "force multiplier" for the FCO and its Ambassadors. He brings the "UK brand" to countries where security is a high priority, and his involvement is designed to show that the UK is a reliable, long-term, strategic ally.[291] His engagement assists with UK defence sales in the region, he added.[292] The UK's defence sales "underpin long-term strategic partnerships", and give the country political influence, enabling it "to engage through Ambassadors, Ministers and senior officials in parts of the world that give us challenges between interests and values".[293]

109.  In a similar vein, Steve McCarthy outlined how in some countries where the military plays a prominent role, the UK's Armed Forces could make an important contribution to diplomatic contact. In Burma (Myanmar), for example, a visit by the Prime Minister was followed up with significant defence engagement because "a lot of Burmese society, whether we like it or not, is influenced by the military". In this way the UK might help to "sustain issues to do with democracy and the rule of law by engaging at a defence level" and by demonstrating that in the UK, the armed forces operate under civilian societal control.[294]

110.  We also heard that the British military has attractive power because of its calibre and credibility, and that this builds connections with specific individuals overseas.[295] The armed forces of a number of countries "beat a path to our door for defence engagement [and] places on our courses".[296] The Henry Jackson Society told us that the UK "remains at the forefront of training foreign military officers", and that when foreign officers are trained at Sandhurst, "this allows for both the development of an understanding of British culture amongst future foreign military leaders, and the establishment of informal networks between influential individuals".[297] Officer training academies at Dartmouth, Lympstone, Sandhurst and Cranwell between them boast more than 30 international alumni currently serving as Chiefs of Defence or Service Chiefs, with international civilian alumni having served as Heads of State or Ministers.[298] Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Minister for International Security Strategy at the MOD, suggested that this indicated how "defence is playing its part in making sure that those who can be expected to assume prominent roles in their societies in the future have a relatively benign view of the UK".[299] The Government told us that defence education can promote important principles including "legitimate use of the military and other security organisations as a lever of civilian government; proportionate use of force; observance of human rights; and international humanitarian law". 1,050 students from over 90 countries attended Defence Academy courses between 2011 and 2012 and the Defence Academy's Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context course has 4,300 cross-government alumni from 150 nationalities.[300] We welcome the training opportunities that the Armed Forces offer to the UK's overseas partners, and hope that these courses remain affordable enough to continue attracting applicants from emerging economies.

111.  The Armed Forces can enhance the UK's reputation in the eyes of foreign publics by undertaking relief operations after natural disasters, such as the work that they did in the Philippines following the typhoon of November 2013.[301] Professor Nye noted that when the US used its naval resources to provide relief in Indonesia after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the "attractiveness" rating of the US, which had fallen dramatically after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, returned to about half of where it had been.[302] Dr Andrew Murrison MP told us that the Armed Forces do "a lot of humanitarian work".[303]

112.  The military makes soft power contributions in a number of further ways. Royal Navy ships sometimes host events overseas that seek to combine elements of trade fairs and networking opportunities, building links with overseas businesspeople and governments.[304] Lt General Simon Mayall worked with local authorities in Kosovo to tackle organised crime.[305] Forces can provide a global public service by enhancing environmental security, for example when they use explosives to burn off petroleum spills, and when military submarines perform sub-icecap sampling.[306] Troop ceremonial is good for tourism; it is "what makes us different and what we do better than any other country", according to Hugo Swire MP, who also noted its role in impressing visiting dignatories.[307] And in the view of the Durham Global Security Institute, the Armed Forces enhance the UK's reputation by "being exemplars of what a modern professional army should be", particularly in the military's "relationship with democracy, its attitude towards domestic and international law, and [its] respect for human rights".[308]

113.  The Committee feels that the time is ripe for a thoroughgoing Government review of how the UK's military resources support the country's soft power projection. An internal review might look at the opportunities for military involvement in crisis responses, defence engagement[309], military support for UK trade delegations, humanitarian relief, and policing environmental security.[310] There will be significant crossover between the roles that the Armed Forces, DFID and the FCO assume in unstable and post-conflict contexts worldwide. We therefore recommend that the Government should review how well DFID, the MOD and the FCO cooperated in Afghanistan, with a view to providing lessons for any future post-conflict reconstruction efforts. They should publish the results of their review as a Command Paper within a year of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The review should focus in particular on how well DFID's work and strategy coordinated with those of the MOD and FCO. The Government conducted a similar review following the UK's withdrawal from Iraq; a paper that they commissioned on 'lessons learned' from Iraq by retired Brigadier Ben Barry has not been published.[311]

114.  This review might make suggestions about how the Government can build on existing examples of cooperation between the Departments, such as the International Defence Engagement Strategy, the Building Stability Overseas Strategy[312], and the Conflict Pool.[313] It could also look at whether "silo funding" of Departments has caused operational difficulties abroad.[314] Lt General Simon Mayall thought that "other nations may be better at being able actively to use their military without ending up with an unseemly toing and froing between Departments and the Treasury over the funding of operations". Better funding coordination was "quite clearly in the British national interest, and I mean that in the wider sense, not just selfish national interest", he argued.[315] We agree with the observation by Steve McCarthy that coordination is vital not just for efficiency but because "the recipient countries of our involvement" do not see the MOD, DFID, the FCO or the Home Office, "they see HMG, the UK".[316]

115.  Some aid organisations now insist on a separation in the field from the military, known as 'humanitarian space'.[317] We acknowledge the concerns raised by some witnesses that the perceived blurring of boundaries between humanitarian organisations and armed forces can create political and security difficulties for aid workers. But the level of separation involved in 'humanitarian space' runs counter both to the idea that the Armed Forces involve themselves more closely in post-conflict and peacetime activities, and to the new imperative for the UK to use all the assets at its disposal in a joined-up way to gain influence in a changing world. Generally, such barriers should not be allowed to halt cooperation between military and civilian actors where cooperation is necessary. At the same time, servicemen and servicewomen deserve greater recognition for the important work that they do in post-conflict reconstruction.[318] We therefore welcome the MOD's active desire to "break down the cultural barriers that often exist between defence and the various NGOs … in the way that we approach humanitarian situations".[319]

116.  Furthermore, the seismic shifts in the international order that this Report has already discussed, as well as the three major wars in which the UK has had recent involvement, require a root-and-branch review of our defence and security capabilities. If the Government truly intend the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) to be not "quite as fundamental" as the 2010 SDSR, as Dr Andrew Murrison MP told us, we believe that this is misguided.[320] We recommend that the Government undertake a thorough analysis of the contribution that soft and smart power might make to the UK's security as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. They should look in particular at the role that the military plays in projecting soft power and at its humanitarian work.

117.  For instance, though recent developments in the nature of warfare have had significant consequences for defence policy, there are signs that the military has been slow to react.[321] Established training methods persist, meaning that soldiers are poorly equipped for new forms of conflict.[322] Because their work is now so dependent on understanding the cultural and political contexts of countries in which they operate, and because the work of the military is linked inextricably to broader efforts to improve the UK's reputation overseas, military attachés should be fully integrated into mainstream Embassy work under the purview of Ambassadors. We therefore welcome the MOD's plans to enhance the Foreign Office element of primary officers' career streams, and the reconfiguration "of the defence attaché post so that it is seen less and less as an end of career post before you retire and more something that is inculcated throughout an officer's working life". We further welcome the MOD's acknowledgement that this career trajectory "presupposes that we can inculcate language training and cultural awareness in people at a young age".[323]

118.  Upstream prevention of conflict will also be in the national interest, and constitutes another aspect of using the Armed Forces in a soft power way. Dr Andrew Murrison MP maintained that while

    "We need to be ever so slightly wary about suggesting that we will not be required to do what you and I might recognise as war fighting in the foreseeable future … I think we have to make plans for a pacific future in which our military is engaged in upstream conflict prevention and with partner nations. Indeed, we do that already. We are in the van of that among nations. I am thinking particularly of the international defence engagement strategy that you will know was launched in February 2013. I am thinking of Future Force 2020322, the reconfiguration of the British Army, which is very much about adaptable forces focused on regions of the world where we think we need to exert influence and where we need to skill our people in order to engage in those parts of the world".[324]

119.  The importance of hard power (military force) in knitting together with soft power as part of a smart power strategy should, therefore, be more fully grasped. The Armed Forces, as they face the demands of a still faster-changing role in the new context, should be properly resourced to meet these challenges. We argued in Chapter three that the British military's experience in arenas such as Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone equips it with the expertise to understand when soft, hard or smart power tactics will work best. Because of the changing nature of warfare, the Armed Forces will need to call on the full array of their approaches and assets more and more often. Richard Norton-Taylor quoted a speech by

    "General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the army … to the Royal United Services Institute conference on Land Warfare in June 2013. He said: 'We've experience[d] the difficulty in conducting "hearts and minds" campaigns in cultures inimical to our own … We should empower local forces to deal with local situations, preferably taking account of regional considerations. This approach calls for bilateral relationships whether ahead of, during, or after periods of conflict because, like it or not, we seem to be in a period of enduring confrontation with extremism'".[325]

Ensuring the UK's international aid commitments support the UK's soft power

120.  The disbursement of aid helps the UK to connect with recipient individuals, with the governments with which it collaborates, and with publics overseas when it contributes to projecting a vision of the UK as a helpful and generous nation that can provide expertise in effective international development. Adam Smith International stressed the complementarities between the UK's provision of assistance to developing countries and 'harder' exercises of UK power such as military force. Such assistance "can have a major impact that is out of all proportion to its cost and … can help achieve transformational change", bringing a "return on investment … [that] can be very high indeed", they suggested.[326] The Brazilian Ambassador, HE Mr Roberto Jaguaribe, underlined the benefits that accrue to the UK through its international development spending. "For the UK, the policy that is being followed of increasing official development aid obviously generates positive reverberations, and I think many countries follow on that path", he told us.[327]

121.  Adam Smith International further claimed that the UK has a comparative advantage in development assistance because DFID "is widely considered within the international development community to be the leading provider of high quality advice to government in the developing world and the delivery of development programmes in those countries".[328] They suggested that this "qualitative view of British excellence in development is underpinned in quantitative terms by the UK's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of [GNI][329] on aid".[330] Lord Hannay of Chiswick, former UK Permanent Representative to the EEC and the UN, submitted that the commitment had made "both an indirect and a direct contribution to Britain's soft power. The indirect role has been reflected in the co-chairing by the Prime Minister of the UN panel set up to plot the way ahead on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals [MDGs]; and by the contrast with a number of other developed countries who have fallen behind on their commitment to the 0.7 per cent target".[331] The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health told us that "The leading role played by the UK in international development not only gains it influence with recipient countries … but also standing among all"; they likewise cited the invitation to the Prime Minister to co-chair the High Level Panel on the MDGs.[332]

122.  Professor Andrew Coyle of the International Centre for Prison Studies provided a specific example of how development assistance could increase the UK's reputation, and help it to influence international norms. He outlined how, with the support of the FCO and DFID, his organisation had been able to help the UK make a significant contribution to prison reform in a number of countries, including through the increasingly widespread adoption of its manual A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management, now translated into 16 languages, promoted by the FCO and regarded as a standard by the UN and other international organisations.[333] "In so doing it has increased the standing of the United Kingdom in encouraging adherence to international standards, in improving good governance and in pursuing a number of specific objectives, such as international abolition of the death penalty", he suggested. The British Council told the Committee that "Trust and attractiveness can be built through aid projects that focus on good governance, education reform and the sharing of the UK's values, for example through our capacity building work in the justice system in Pakistan".[334]

123.  The BBC World Service has created debate programmes designed to improve accountability and foster dialogue, often with DFID funding, in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Palestinian Territories.[335] In this way, the UK influences global values and standards. According to Professor James Gow (cited by the BBC), the BBC is the "easiest form of humanitarian assistance that can be provided after an emergency, giving people the best possible shot at truth, knowledge, and understanding".[336] Dr Robin Niblett argued that the World Service "helps promote the sort of transparency that empowers populations at the expense of entrenched and inefficient authority".[337]

124.  Where development assistance is effective, conditions in the recipient countries improve at the same time as the UK's reputation, as the aid giver, increases. Thus, the promotion of British values through the funding of international development projects can yield significant soft power gains.[338] Soft power is most likely to expand when aid spending works with, rather than against, the grain of local values. Sir Jeremy Greenstock reported that "the attractiveness of the UK in cultural or presentational terms is increased … by consideration for other cultures".[339] The Government should improve their communications around the UK's involvement in Africa and other developing regions and countries, for example by promoting the UK as a partner (including a commercial partner), not simply as an aid-giver.[340] We agree with Lord Hannay of Chiswick that "we should be doing more to work with those major emerging nations like Brazil, China and India which are beginning to become aid donors themselves and who have much valuable experience to impart. Such partnerships are likely to make a genuinely valuable contribution to our soft power with both donors and recipients".[341]

125.  Done well, assisting countries with their economic development can bring further advantages to the UK. Lord Hannay of Chiswick wrote that "our ODA [Official Development Assistance]remains needed and appreciated in a wide range of developing countries whose future prosperity will contribute to our own".[342] The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health pointed out that many countries that have received UK aid "are now rapidly growing into major economic players for the 21st century"; these future powers might be better disposed towards the UK.[343] The supplementary written evidence provided by International Alert considered aid spending as working towards an "unwritten goal" of contributing to an "increasingly and sustainably prosperous, peaceful and liberal world".[344] BP described how UK aid had contributed to improving education, health, sanitation and other public services in many of the world's poorest countries. This investment in human capital is "fundamental for a functioning economy", they claimed.[345] But for Gilly Lord, UK businesses could do more to understand their impact on the countries in which they work. She said, "what we need to get much better at is reporting a much wider impact. If a company is doing business in Tanzania, yes, we need to ask what profits they might earn, but we also need to ask what they are doing for the local community, what they are doing for the environment and whether they are having a positive or negative impact".[346]

126.  The UK might find that it needs to work with regions like Africa because it faces competition from emerging economies such as China. Dr John Barry, Shell's Country Chair for Abu Dhabi, claimed that the UK's reputation and values should give it advantages when working with Africa:

    "I found myself wondering why the Chinese have made such inroads into Africa, which ought to be our natural playing ground and indeed was for many years. If we think about how we can fix that, we bring different things to what the Chinese bring. We bring sustainability. We bring transparency. There is a role for building into the Government's narrative, through the Commonwealth perhaps, the reason why it would be better to be with the British. We should not be ashamed of doing that, in a non-arrogant fashion of course".[347]

127.  There is a clear overlap between commerce, international development, and the benefits that aid spending bring to British soft power. We therefore suggest that DFID engage more closely with the FCO and other bodies such as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in developing a shared understanding of where their work contributes to the national interest.[348] The Government should attempt better coordination of the activities that UK agencies undertake 'on the ground' in each post and market. The Committee feels that DFID is too divorced from other arms of Government and UK Embassies.[349]

128.  The Government must respect DFID's autonomy and should not seek to undermine DFID's work and reputation for impartiality or weaken its central commitment to the defeat of poverty.[350] But DFID could, for example, make an explicit commitment in its annual business plan outlining how it might better promote itself as an enabler of soft power and as a promoter of British industry and commerce.[351] The Government should also consider soft power gains when reviewing DFID's activities. Humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction, for instance, might yield greater soft power gains than other forms of support, and this should be part of the picture when DFID's work is evaluated.[352]

129.  The Government must also weigh up how their development spending contributes to the promotion of core British values.[353] International Alert discussed the disbursement of aid to Rwanda. "To some", they suggested,

    "Rwanda's government is a repressive, undemocratic regime bent on maintaining the dominance of a single party and a single ethnic group, and as such undeserving of the UK's support. To others, Rwanda's leadership is very carefully managing a process which it hopes and plans will lay the foundations of a stable and democratic country, based on a realistic assessment that it is too early to liberalise fully. There is no way of knowing for sure, which of these scenarios is most accurate".[354]

International Alert advised that the UK "must carefully judge how to respond, and do so with all due care and diligence. This means inter alia that if it wishes to support progress in Rwanda it must deploy not funds merely, but also politically astute civil servants and diplomats able to engage with the government and civil society there and interpret events and processes as they evolve, tailoring [the] UK's engagement".[355]

130.  Yet, despite these difficulties, International Alert suggested that the "risks due to this uncertainty—which is reflected in similar and different ways in all fragile contexts where the UK might wish to support development progress—seem worth taking, provided it exercises all due diligence and care in the choices it makes, and monitors and adapts its approaches along the way. This is expert, labour-intensive work", they cautioned.[356]

131.  We consider that as well as its focus on when UK development assistance can achieve the most for the people it is intended to support, DFID should give consideration to the degree to which its work can support the promotion of British values. It should do so both because such a focus would support the UK's soft power, and because British values such as democracy and the rule of law promote the stability of the countries involved and the wellbeing of their people. By encouraging and promoting stability, British aid should also help to prevent future conflict within and between states.

132.  A careful approach is needed to ensure that UK aid is spent in a way that both benefits people overseas and contributes to British soft power.[357] However, "Diligence and care are not best served by understaffed government departments, which suggests that DFID's drive to reduce transaction costs and the FCO's drive to 'do more with less' may be counter-productive", International Alert concluded.[358] The Government should ensure that Departments are sufficiently resourced to deliver British aid in a way that supports the UK's soft power, because false economies here will result in aid spending that fails to deliver benefits for the UK in the long run. The Government should also ensure that DFID does more to improve the transparency and accountability of the overseas projects that it supports, of consultants whom DFID employs directly, and of consultants employed by the NGOs that DFID funds. In addition, DFID should be more open about the projects that it has paid for whose objectives have not been achieved.

CSOs and NGOs—soft power projection outside Government

133.  Extra-governmental bodies play a crucial role in connecting the UK to people in other countries. Civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are a crucial source of soft power (see Chapter two).[359] Jonathan McClory wrote that "civil society is extremely diverse, including a range of organisations from charities, NGOs, the religious community, through to cultural institutions and … trade unions. Some are obviously more international facing than others, but the whole of civil society is [a] crucial source of soft power".[360] Religious communities bring people together across borders, and political groupings, trade unions and other associations sustain international bonds.[361] Many leading global charities formed and are based in the UK, which is "well recognised as a global hub for non-governmental organisations working in development, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding".[362] Former diplomat Lord Williams of Baglan noted that a good number of the UK's NGOs, such as Oxfam and Amnesty International, had an explicitly global outlook from the time of their foundation.[363] According to the British Council, the UK has far more internationally focused NGOs than other European countries. These organisations add to the country's reputation and bolster its links with other countries: "The advocacy work of Amnesty International, the life-saving development work of Oxfam and Save the Children and the numerous other NGOs that strive to build a better world give the UK a massive boost in credibility and trust".[364]

How British institutions and values add to the UK's influence

134.  The Government called the monarchy "a unique soft power and diplomatic asset".[365] HM The Queen has made over 260 official visits to over 116 different countries "as an unsurpassed Ambassador for the UK overseas".[366] Her visits to West Germany in 1965 and Japan in 1975 promoted reconciliation; she has given encouragement to nations after profound change, such as through her visits to Russia in 1994 and to South Africa in 1995; and her historic State Visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011 provided an opportunity to celebrate peace and reconciliation as well as the UK-Ireland relationship.[367] Hugh Elliott, Director of Communication and Engagement for the FCO, told us that "visits by members of the Royal Family are instrumental in extending the UK's influence overseas".[368] Dr John Barry' felt that it was no coincidence that an important contract for Shell was announced on the first day of Sheikh Khalifa's state visit to the UK. The Royal Family, he concluded, are "incredibly important in maintaining relationships at the top level" in many countries that the UK does business with.[369] The monarchy also exerts tremendous influence throughout the Commonwealth, not least because HM The Queen is the Head of State of 16 Commonwealth Realms.

135.  Events to mark the Diamond Jubilee weekend in 2012 at over 100 UK diplomatic posts attracted 50,000 guests and resulted in media coverage reaching over one billion people, the Government estimated.[370] In their view, the Royal Wedding in 2011 and the Jubilee celebrations were important in "generating renewed respect and admiration for the Monarchy and strengthening the bonds of trust and friendship between the UK and our international partners".[371] The twin celebrations attracted thousands of visitors to the UK[372], while the Royal Wedding drew a global audience of an estimated two billion people in over 180 countries.[373] VisitBritain now seeks to turn global media interest in the Royal Family into further tourism opportunities, with marketing that showcases the UK's heritage sites with royal connections, and "since the birth of Prince George, Britain's family friendly offer".[374]

136.  HM The Queen is a powerful symbol of the long-term continuity of the country. The British Council felt that "The value of the UK's stability, history, pomp and ceremony as a soft power asset is difficult to quantify" because "the importance of history, roots, of belonging is intangible".[375] According to the Government, the Head of State embodies British ideals of "peace, friendship, freedom and tolerance".[376] The Council argued that HM The Queen was viewed internationally as "one of life's few constants", an "inspiration to those countries emerging from periods of instability and conflict".[377] She is one of the world's most respected and recognised figures: as Sir John Major pointed out, "When people refer to the Queen almost anywhere in the world they mean our Queen".[378]

137.  Of course, other British institutions also establish international connections. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in the UK answers requests from the legislatures of other Commonwealth countries for British parliamentarians to engage with and help to strengthen those countries' institutions; the Committee commends the effectiveness with which the organisation has developed its work in democracy building. The importance of such engagement derives from the fact that the individual parliamentarians who participate are particularly likely to influence the policy and development of their countries. CPA UK claimed that they are able to undertake this work because Commonwealth countries—and other states, such as Japan—share the Westminster parliamentary system and English language, "enabling parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth to share best practice within the same organisational and procedural framework". Indeed, their submission underlined how "Westminster continues to be seen as the mother of parliaments and a universal gold standard of parliamentary best practice".[379]

138.  CPA UK stressed in particular the bilateral links that exist between the UK and several important emerging economies—such as India and many African countries—through the Commonwealth. In some cases, CPA UK argued, these nations lack strength in their democratic institutions; they described how CPA UK seeks to work with these countries to reinforce good governance and parliamentary democracy, promoting stability, human rights and the rule of law.[380] For the UK to be seen as authoritative in such matters adds substantively to its soft power. The Westminster Parliament continues to be a major destination for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from overseas—principally from the Commonwealth, but increasingly from other countries too, including the emergent democracies. Many of these visits are coordinated by the Overseas Offices of the two Houses of Parliament. The two Houses also fund the CPA UK and the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union which arrange inward and outward visits of member delegations, and are increasingly engaging in parliamentary strengthening activities. The FCO, and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (funded by the FCO), are also active in this area.[381]

139.  Through such connections, and through broadcasting and reporting, the Houses of Parliament represent a highly visible 'face' of the UK.[382] The diversity of Members of Parliament and the leadership of political parties (according to ethnicity, gender, religion, class background), as well as the style and tone of televised political debate, are also important influences on how people overseas view democracy in the UK. Some countries look to the UK for advice on strengthening their civic institutions and as a model for their own polities. Hugo Swire MP informed us that the UK is "working in the international fora to try to get Burma to accelerate the speeding up of its constitution. The Speaker [of the House of Commons] has been there. We have had its clerks over here learning how to draft legislation. This country is emerging from the dark shadows of an autocracy into what we hope will be a democracy".[383]

140.  The British Council picked up on the global influence of the UK's political ideals: "The freedoms and security we take for granted are hugely attractive to people living in less open and tolerant places. Other countries look to the UK for advice and support on how to strengthen their civic institutions and build a safer, more prosperous future".[384] Lord Soley wrote that the UK's reputation in this area "provides a solid foundation from which the UK can exert considerable 'soft power,' promoting and developing the principles of good governance, democracy and human rights across the world".[385]

141.  The UK's regional governments also play a role in projecting British soft power and helping countries develop their own institutions. According to CPA UK's evidence, the devolved administrations have developed particularly strong bilateral relationships (Scotland with Malawi, for instance).[386] The Welsh Government's submission also underlined how devolved administrations can develop relationships with countries and regions that contribute to the UK's overall soft power and influence. They gave examples of how the Welsh Government have established relationships with regional counterparts in the EU, both bilaterally and through its membership of regional groupings. Wales also has a strong relationship with the Mbale region of Uganda, where the Welsh Government have worked to promote a positive approach to LGBT rights. Their evidence also cites Wales's more than 20-year relationship with Lesotho.[387]

Making the UK's voice heard through international networks


142.  Jonathan McClory told us that "The future of international influence rests in transnational networks … The ability to build and mobilise networks of state and non-state actors towards the advancement of an objective is what will separate successful and unsuccessful states in the future of foreign policy". Being a central actor across multiple networks allows a country to shape the preferences, debates, procedures, rules, and ultimately outcomes of decisions that can only be taken multilaterally.[388] States are able to derive power from being at the hub of a hub-and-spokes network, or by bridging or exploiting holes in networks to influence communication between other actors. Therefore, "a state can wield global power by engaging and acting together with other states, not merely acting against them".[389]

143.  The UK is one such 'hub'. It is a very well networked state: only France and the United States are members of more international organisations.[390] Jonathan McClory counted eighty multilateral organisations in which the UK is a participant.[391] The many intersecting networks of which it is a member mean that it can draw "international clout from its status as a Permanent Member of the Security Council and its membership of other international organisations … The EU and the Commonwealth in particular are bodies with considerable soft power strengths. Both are reliant on soft power levers to exert influence in international affairs", wrote the British Council.[392] Dr Robin Niblett concurred that "A key advantage for the UK is that it remains one of the most networked countries in the world, with an important institutional position in the EU, G20, G8, NATO, UN Security Council, IMF, World Bank and the Commonwealth"[393], while the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) cited the UK's membership of UNESCO.[394] Dr Niblett felt that "Britain's proactive role within the key institutions and relationships that helped promote its interests over the past sixty [years] is a central pillar of its soft power".[395] The Government agreed that "The UK lies at the centre of an increasingly networked world".[396] Sir Jeremy Greenstock suggested that the UK's "capacity in international forums to help solve problems, find compromises and negotiate texts is seen as constructive".[397]

144.  Building on the UK's networked position will mean that the Government can work to shape the milieu of the international networks and global 'system' in which it plays a part, and not just relations within that system.[398] The UK can exert influence on the 'settings' of the international system—on global governance, information infrastructure and intellectual property, accountancy standards, development best practice, and so on. The Government will find it better to shape the system in the UK's interests than struggle to work within a system organised to the benefit of other countries.[399]

145.  By being centrally involved in international organisations, the Government may ensure that English remains the dominant language in international mediation, and that British norms—for example, in setting judicious international trade and accountancy standards—are shared widely.[400] UK Trade Facilitation told us that the UK is one of the "most respected countries in the world" when it comes to "international trade facilitation".[401] Yet the success of the English language and British commercial standards must not lead to complacency. While it is important to protect the global role of English, as we discuss below it will be to the country's advantage for more citizens to learn foreign languages.[402] Furthermore, the underrepresentation of British officials in international institutions such as the EU and UN could well prove detrimental to the UK's long-term influence.[403]

146.  Important as the UK's historical alliances are, power is shifting and huge new markets are rising in parts of the world where the UK must re-establish its reputation and persuade people that they wish to deal with and buy from the British. The UK therefore needs to build other strong networks and take new opportunities. The UK must engage more actively and flexibly with the networks of the future that represent key emerging powers, such as ASEAN, the African Union, the Arab League, the Pacific Alliance and the new Latin American groupings now taking shape.[404] While the balance of power is no longer tilted to 'the West' in the twentieth-century sense, we consider that the UK is in a uniquely strong position to seize the opportunities that its global history offers and present itself as able and keen to forge bonds with countries and communities across the globe.

147.  In sum, the strategic imperatives of a transformed global order demand that the UK aim to be the best-networked state in the world. To answer one-time US Secretary of State Dean Acheson's challenge—that the UK had "lost an Empire and not yet found a role"—we submit that the country's history, experience and global reach now present it with an enviable opportunity to work with others in shaping the world. This role will require sometimes difficult engagement with partners old and new, but it is a role that the Government should embrace unequivocally and enthusiastically.


148.  "Britain's membership of the United Nations, and in particular its status as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council has been, and remains, an important source of soft power", wrote Lord Hannay of Chiswick. He added a caveat: "But the soft power benefits which accrue to Britain from the UN and from its large family of global agencies depend crucially on how effective these institutions are at fulfilling their mandates. This is particularly true of the UN Security Council's role in ensuring international peace and security and in exercising its responsibility to protect those citizens whose governments are unwilling or unable to protect them themselves". His conclusion was that, now that "the strains imposed on our military by operations in Afghanistan" are abating, the UK should "play a more active role in UN peacekeeping, in particular by contributing to the more sophisticated elements now required of modern peacekeeping operations".[405] This could include contributions to civilian and military policing, for example.

149.  The Henry Jackson Society described how NATO depended on soft power as well as the threat of force: "The UK's alliance with the US is rooted in cultural affinity and genuine capability, but it has a broader effect via NATO, where there remains a core partnership with serious non-military effects in our ability to shape global governance. London hosting the 2014 NATO Summit is proof of both the importance for the UK and NATO itself of the British military's place".[406]

150.  In the case of the G8, Dr Robin Niblett proposed that the UK could promote its own standards and values within the organisation. It could "commit to raising the voice of this Western caucus inside the broader and still quite unfocused G20. It could build on a successful G8 Presidency in 2013[407], for example, in order to promote within the broader G20 the practical value of increased standards of transparency in governance and taxation", he proposed.[408] We agree with this assessment, though we caution that though currently "unfocused", over the coming decade the G20 will continue to develop in stature as a key international discussion forum that will outstrip the G8.


151.  The international norms that the Commonwealth aims to cultivate derive ultimately from values that still form a "core part" of the UK's identity.[409] But today the organisation adds to British soft power for two major, and relatively new reasons. First, because it operates extensively at the level of people, below the radar of governmental and official contacts. This is of rapidly increasing significance in a world of personal and informal networks, where millions of individuals, groups and organisations are in daily and intimate contact. The rise of the internet has reinvigorated networks like the Commonwealth, which, like the web, uses English as a working language.Second, the modern Commonwealth, embracing some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and not as obviously Anglo-centric as it was in the past, works as a forum in which the UK is very open to being challenged. The Royal Commonwealth Society told us:

    "The fact that the UK's core values are contained within the Commonwealth Charter is not so much a reflection of the UK's influence over the Commonwealth, but more a reflection of the complex interdependence that has historically existed between these 54 states. The UK's values have indeed shaped the understandings at the core of the institution, but they have equally been shaped by them".[410]

152.  When it works at its best, the Commonwealth functions as a space of mutual learning, where "each state's voice has the same weight".[411] For instance, it allows countries to air disagreements publicly without resorting to hard power measures—as we saw recently with Canada's decision not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka because Canada disagreed with the Sri Lankan government's actions during that country's civil war.[412] The Commonwealth is adept at highlighting when a country breaks the shared norms[413], and therefore reinforces what the Commonwealth "family" understands to be desirable. In time, this consensual process generates shared understandings of global issues, and how to behave in resolving such issues.[414] Thus, because "soft power can be said to exist in a situation where other states 'want what you want'", the Commonwealth provides such a venue.[415]

153.  Sir John Major suggested that Commonwealth links provided significant diplomatic opportunities to the UK. He said that the organisation was important for "several reasons". Firstly, "The world sees the UK as having influence because of the huge spread of the Commonwealth in every corner of the globe".[416] Secondly, the Commonwealth can add strength to the UK's arm (as to that of other member states). Sir John told us that the UK's policy to erect a safe haven for Iraqi Kurds during the first Gulf War "was born in No. 10, taken to a European Union meeting that morning, endorsed there and, while we were getting it endorsed in Europe, the Foreign Office was contacting every member of the Commonwealth so that the idea of safe havens was approved in the United Nations, with the support of the European Union and the Commonwealth. That was a practical area where we used the Commonwealth to advance a policy that we thought was right". He continued: "The other extent to which it is an asset is that we often find allies. Big countries are often looked at suspiciously. They are looking after their own interests, but if there are small countries that have the same interests in international bodies that is often quite an influential addition … It is hard to quantify but, yes, it is an asset. Diplomatically, in my experience, most of the members of the Commonwealth are pretty easy to work with and many of them instinctively have the same view that we have".[417]

154.  Our evidence suggested that trade between a pair of Commonwealth countries is likely to be a third higher than trade between any pair of Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries; the Commonwealth contains some of the world's most rapidly-expanding economies, including two of the BRICS.[418] Similar legal systems, shared business networks, the use of the English language and other factors produce what the Royal Commonwealth Society termed the "Commonwealth advantage". Their submission argued that some of the biggest leaps in UK exports—of both goods and services—between 2010 and 2012 were to Commonwealth countries: 33.5 per cent to India, 31.2 per cent to South Africa, 30 per cent to Australia, and 18.3 per cent to Canada. However, they suggested that still more could be done. To our knowledge, the only body that works to promote trade between Commonwealth countries is the Commonwealth Business Council. There is currently no formal mechanism through which the Commonwealth promotes trade or investment. Since it is a clear source of advantage to UK interests, the Government could investigate how to give more support to intra-Commonwealth trade.[419]

155.  The British Council took a dim view of those who underplay the importance of the Commonwealth to the UK's soft power: "The Commonwealth is … a critical component of the UK's soft power, it brings countries together and celebrates and promotes shared values and experiences. Those in the UK that dismiss it fail to recognise the value placed in it by the governments of other member countries or the soft power benefits to the UK of the education, cultural and sporting links that it promotes".[420] Lord Hannay of Chiswick agreed that the Commonwealth was "an important potential source of soft power", though stressed that it was "often under-utilised". One way that it could further contribute to soft power would be for the network "over time to strengthen the systems of democratic government, the rule of law, the freedom of the press and respect for human rights as common rules shared by all members of the Commonwealth", he wrote.[421]

156.  Research by the Royal Commonwealth Society found that among British citizens, the Commonwealth was seen to have the least value to the UK when compared to the UN, G8, NATO and EU. In addition, nearly half of respondents could not name any activities undertaken by the Commonwealth.[422] We therefore welcome the Foreign Secretary's desire to "put the C back into the FCO".[423] However, it is our opinion that Hugo Swire MP and Dr Andrew Murrison MP failed to recognise the true network and commercial value of the Commonwealth in their evidence to us.[424] As such, we feel that the Government need to put greater focus on the important potential in the Commonwealth. The Minister of State charged with responsibility for Commonwealth matters should have that task as his or her main role, and should be seen to do so, rather than just having care for Commonwealth relationships included amongst a list of numerous duties. To do so would not only support the UK's international relations: embracing the UK's connections with Commonwealth nations would, we believe, also send a positive message to the UK's diaspora communities from Commonwealth nations (which would, in turn, rebound to the UK's benefit internationally).

157.  The Committee is in agreement with Mr Swire that to ensure effective Commonwealth membership, the UK will have to "tread a very careful line by not stepping over the mark and being seen to instruct or dominate the Commonwealth". But the UK must not be too timid about engaging energetically with the Commonwealth.[425] Hyper-connectivity and the 'rise of the rest' are conspiring to give the Commonwealth every opportunity to become a vital network of the 21st century. The UK would be foolish not to recognise this development.

158.  Mr Swire also urged realism: he said that the idea that the Commonwealth could replace the EU as a trading bloc was "patent nonsense; the strength of the Commonwealth is in addition to the EU. We live in a world of multifora membership. We have ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance. Every country is a member of many different organisations and the Commonwealth has to earn its place among them. It has no absolute right".[426]

159.  While this realism was understandable, we felt that it missed the point. Our evidence suggested that the new significance for the UK of the modern Commonwealth, offering high-growth and high-savings markets, as well as a gateway to many of the great emerging powers of Asia, Africa and Latin America, is not quite understood in Whitehall. We note that the education, business, training and cultural sectors have taken the lead in Commonwealth networking. In particular, the UK's increasingly successful exporters of all kinds of services have forged ahead with this engagement—a highly promising trend in a world of fast-expanding knowledge-based exchanges.[427]

160.  We recommend that the Government should follow this lead both in inspirational word and in deed: not just inside the FCO, but in all the lead Departments with a substantial international interface (including DFID, MOD, DCMS, the Department for Education, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and others). The Government should foster and encourage Commonwealth linkages with much more vigour than before, while recognising the challenges which currently confront Commonwealth bodies.


161.  How does the UK's membership of the EU interact with its soft power projection? Lord Hannay of Chiswick wrote that the UK's membership of the European Union has "greatly expanded Britain's soft power, both within the borders of the Union and beyond them. We have been able to promote successfully the establishment of the largest single market in the world and to shape its legislation and regulation. We have championed major steps towards freer and fairer world trade, with the European Union an indispensable player in successive global trade negotiations and now negotiating free trade agreements with the United States and Japan".[428] Jonathan McClory said that "Of the eighty multilateral organisations in which the UK is a participant, the EU is [one of the most important], if not the most important, to the UK's influence. Because the European Union has the potential to affect the full spectrum of British foreign policy goals, from prosperity to security, it should be seen as the UK's most important multi-lateral membership—despite the tone of current domestic political debates".[429]

162.  Sir John Major was also of the opinion that membership of the EU assists the standing of the UK and the pursuit of its interests overseas. There were a number of reasons for this: "We are seen as a big country in a bigger grouping and an influential country in a big grouping. We are seen as one of those who determine European Union policy. We are seen as someone who plays a lead part in some European policies—the anti-piracy in Somalia policy, for example. We are seen as the entry point for European Union investment as well".[430]

163.  Professor Nye detected similar benefits:

    "From Britain's strategic position, I would think [EU membership] gives you a second arrow in your quiver: you can do things directly as Britain and things through the European Union. In some countries sometimes it may turn out that the European arrow will look a little less threatening and other times it may be that the British arrow looks a little less threatening. …In a country, perhaps an ex-British colony, where there may be some residual resentments about our fears of neo-colonialism and so on, the European arrow may work. In other areas, say, another ex-British colony, where there are very strong pro-British views, the British arrow might be better. From your point of view, I would think being able to use both makes sense. One of the problems for the United States is that, as a large power, it is often suspected and we cannot switch back and forth as you could".[431]

164.  Lord Hannay of Chiswick's evidence was concerned about the future. He told us that "there remains a major positive agenda for [EU] reform still to be accomplished", but that "Should Britain withdraw from the European Union or come to play a purely marginal role in the shaping of its policies it is difficult to see any of these soft power benefits being retained". The European Economics and Financial Centre was in agreement. Their contention was that "the UK economy is best served by remaining in the EU. Foreign direct investment comes to the UK in order to export to the EU. The UK market by itself is not large enough for foreign investors".[432] Sir John Major suggested that the US wished the UK to remain in the EU "because we can have an Anglo-Saxon influence on the European Union and be a counterpoint to some of the protectionist tendencies that exist there".[433]

165.  Dr Robin Niblett provided perhaps the strongest warning on soft power grounds against the UK's departure from the EU. He counselled that "The biggest risk to Britain's soft power in the near-term is if it detaches itself completely from its closest and deepest institutional network: the EU. This would risk the UK becoming … a consumer of global public goods, standards and norms, rather than a shaper of the international environment", he suggested. He proposed that if the UK Government "can navigate its way through its EU referendum maze, then [the UK's] position as a major European economy with strong global ties could enable it to serve as one of the most powerful voices within the EU for deepening the EU's international engagement. This could involve driving the EU's current and future trade liberalisation agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, or arguing the case for more forceful EU involvement in managing the security risks of its neighbourhood".[434]

166.  We acknowledge that the arguments around the UK's place in the EU are complex and multifaceted: we examined the issue only as it related to the UK's soft power. The balance of evidence that we received argued that membership of the EU offers the UK a useful and important arrow in the quiver to employ in international relations.

167.  Sir John Major told us that while "Like everybody else, we are occasionally outvoted [in EU negotiations] and we have to accept things we do not like", he "would argue very strongly that we are not being pushed around in Europe". He added: "There have been great developments in the European Union since it started: the single market, which was a UK-led operation; enlargement, which was a UK-German operation; and the Euro, in which we stood aside. I do not notice a great degree of us being kicked around or bullied in any of that".[435] Sir John further stressed that although "we are occasionally outvoted … something quite dramatic has changed":

    "During the periods Margaret [Thatcher MP] was Prime Minister and I was Prime Minister the British were very often entirely on their own in their arguments as the European Union grew and developed towards 15 members. We now have [28] members and any British Government these days, certainly the present coalition, has allies that Margaret Thatcher and I could only have dreamed of having. They are no longer alone. They have allies in eastern Europe. They have allies in northern Europe".[436]

168.  Sir John revealed that because of these new alliances, he was "much more positive and optimistic about the prospects of being able to obtain some renegotiation than most people and I have done rather more negotiating with Europe than most people … I do not think Germany, for example, would remotely wish the British to be forced out of Europe leaving them surrounded as a free-trading nation by a larger number of protectionist nations".[437]

169.  Given the importance of the wide-ranging debate regarding the UK's membership of the EU, we feel that all political parties should ensure that their policy choices take heed of the UK's long-term global influence. While recognising that the balance of evidence we received argued that membership of the EU offers the UK a useful and important arrow in the quiver to employ in international relations, we consider that the Government should enhance the UK's input to the reform and modernisation of the EU. We see major opportunities for the UK to work with many allies, at both the governmental and popular levels, throughout the European Union to strengthen and adapt the Union's 21st-century role. Such an approach would support British interests and help adapt the European Union's own position to new global challenges. However, the gains all round will also depend on the success of the EU in addressing present challenges, such as divisions within the Euro zone and unacceptably high youth unemployment.[438]

Soft power, trade promotion and national prosperity

170.  The above section explored the ideal international positioning that the UK should adopt in a changing world, and the ways in which the Government and other institutions and organisations connect with individuals and publics overseas. We now consider the attractiveness of the UK's commercial, educational, cultural, sporting and media assets, how they work to forge international links, and the soft power and economic benefits that they bring to the UK and its people.

171.  The UK's attractiveness and international connections provide opportunities for British businesses to export their products and services, but the UK's economic strength and the companies behind it also help to forge connections and enhance the UK's soft power by supporting its international recognition and reputation. For the British Council, "The UK's global influence draws on its reputation as a place of excellence, creativity, ingenuity, a world leader in finance, the Law, science, research, the arts and creative industries".[439] Walpole British Luxury, which represents 180 British luxury brands, told us that their members rely on the UK's reputation for innovation, creativity, tradition and quality, and, in a beneficial cycle, they also contribute to this positive reputation.[440] Luxury brands are "ambassadors" that "often communicate contemporary national values more effectively and in a more relevant way (to consumers in key overseas markets) than governments", they argued.[441]

172.  We received much evidence about the attractiveness of London, and the City of London, as a commercial and financial hub. We heard that the standing of the UK's financial and professional services, despite having taken a hit since 2008, was still high—and that such services form the UK's leading export sector, with a trade surplus larger than the combined surplus of all other net exporting industries in the UK.[442] Being a world leader adds to the UK's reputation.

173.  The City of London Corporation reported that the UK represented "a hallmark of quality and reliability in a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing and engineering, to finance, infrastructure, education, and legal and professional services".[443] Mr Stanley, former CEO of Penspen, singled out the British engineering profession as particularly highly regarded around the world.[444] The UK also has a good reputation for the expertise of its workforce, we heard. David Stanley reported that "Even though we establish engineering operations around the world … and use a lot of indigenous engineers in that work, it has to be led by British engineers. … [British engineers] have a wider, more lateral thinking process. We have a better adaptation to the client's requirements".[445] The benefits that this reputation brings, said Stephen Pattison, Vice-President, Public Affairs of ARM Holdings, means that "we need more young people going into engineering".[446]

174.  Gilly Lordof PricewaterhouseCoopers, told us that being seen as authoritative in the foundation of standards and ethics for professions such as accountancy and law gives the UK a level of authority in these areas that adds to the UK's international standing.[447] The UK accountancy profession's reputation is highly important for Ms Lord's business, which is "about selling advice, people and services, so it is intrinsically linked to soft power".[448] Ms Lord's professional body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), has about 140,000 members, more than 20,000 of whom are based overseas.[449] Sir Jeremy Greenstock felt that the UK's "general professional competence is admired", though he added the caveat that this is "only against the background of widespread incompetence elsewhere".[450]

175.  The UK is also a world leader in the legal profession.[451] According to the Humanitarian Intervention Centre, the UK's "highly sophisticated and developed legal system" is respected around the world, and supported by the country's hefty output of "world-leading legal thought and practice". In the Centre's view, this legal prowess "affords the UK a high degree of legitimacy and credibility in the international arena which in turn gives its diplomacy great weight, efficacy and the power [to] encourage cooperation and to build consensus".[452] The legal profession in the UK handles a great deal of international business.[453] Sir Roger Gifford, then Lord Mayor of London, told us that the UK's legal tradition has "produced an international contract law that is essentially English law and is viewed the world over as a gold standard".[454] It has also exported the common law system to many countries, including across the Commonwealth, meaning that the UK's influence is deeply embedded into a number of national constitutions.[455]

176.  Dr Robin Niblett claimed that UK-based financial, accounting and legal services represent elements of the UK's soft power because "They place UK firms at the heart of global corporate deal-making and negotiation, helping define the norms and rules through which international commerce is undertaken".[456]

177.  The appeal of the UK as a financial centre in particular rests on other British soft power assets, including the English language, the stability of the UK political system, and the fact that the country provides an attractive environment in which to live and work.[457] The UK's economy has a transparent legal and tax base, we heard.[458] Uday Dholakia, Chairman of the National Asian Business Association (NABA), maintained that one of the UK's most important unique selling propositions was its regulatory system: "If you buy a British product or service abroad, you know it is legitimate, it is transparent and there is a redress complaints procedure".[459] London, along with New York, Singapore and Hong Kong, is seen as a safe haven for funds.[460] The capital's cultural assets combine with its concentration of financial, legal and other key services and international institutions to form a unique offer to investors and entrepreneurs.[461] Others reinforced the point that the UK's values added to its attractiveness as a country in which it was possible to do business. Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-President of Universities UK and Chair of the UK Higher Education International Unit, explained to us that the UK "is seen as a safe country with a rule of law that you can rely on. We are also seen as very good value".[462] Stephen Pattison suggested that "the rule of law and the patent protection arrangements in the UK … are the sorts of things that will attract business into the UK".[463]

178.  Sir John Major underlined the link between the UK's political system, its commercial attractiveness, and the implicit trust that many people from other countries place in the British:

    "We are seen as an exceedingly stable society. We are also seen as one of the, if not the, least corrupt nations in the world, and I do not just mean our business system. I mean our political system, our business system, our way of life. I hope I am not seeing this through tainted British eyes—I do not think I am—but people trust us. They may often disagree with us, but they believe we are to be trusted and they believe we deal honestly with them. The value of that to people who wish to trade or treat with us in any way is almost incalculable".[464]

179.  The UK's willingness to tackle corruption also formed part of Dr John Barry's evidence to the Committee:

    "In a world that is more connected—one can think of the Arab Spring and the demands for transparency, which are growing in places that were never there before—the UK can bring a lot. Some aspects such as transparency, ethics, and the Bribery Act [2010], if well sold, play to our strengths and are easy".[465]

180.  Lord Leach of Fairford, Chairman of Open Europe, underlined how a commitment to certain values and standards made a key difference in an important emerging market, China:

    "A business colleague recently met a member of the standing committee of the Chinese politburo, who expressed the view that Sino-British relations were far more than a matter of trade figures. The UK was the only country to have refrained from protectionist measures against China. Since the industrial revolution, the British have designed most of the rules of international engagement, from sports to standards of governance. It was the home of the English language. It had a strong role in education, science and technology, and in services, especially the financial sector, it was a—perhaps the—world leader. Without ports or harbours—there are not so many ships nowadays—we were the world's shipping hub because of our advanced impartial legal system. This, he said, added up to significant soft power, placing us as the nation that is always worth consulting on multinational issues".[466]

181.  Walpole British Luxury made much of the UK's 'openness' to other countries: "We try to be an open and fair society, which in itself contributes in no small part to our soft power appeal".[467] The British Council agreed that the UK's willingness to engage with others was crucial: "Sharing our way of life, showing solidarity with the citizens of the world, caring enough to want to help and knowing to ask how we can help, are all reasons the UK is taken seriously, respected and listened to internationally".[468] It is a key advantage for the UK that many people in the outside world share its values and ideals, and respect its institutions.[469]

182.  Dealing with China and other emerging economies in the developing world will therefore require UK companies to play to their strengths in providing transparent and non-corrupt corporate governance.[470] UKTI will have a role to play in promoting British business and regulatory regimes (such as intellectual property legislation) as fair and largely non-corrupt, and in advancing the idea that corruption and human rights abuses are a barrier to business.[471] UKTI, and other Government bodies charged with promoting UK companies abroad, should emphasise the reliability and trustworthiness of British businesspeople as one of the significant advantages of trading with the UK.

183.  The Lord Mayor of London, as a primary representative of the City of London, performs several functions that contribute to the UK's soft power. We learnt that the Lord Mayor undertakes "door-opening" trade promotion work, in collaboration with UKTI, involving delegations to about 30 countries a year.[472] The Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation work to promote inward investment and support overseas firms to establish or expand their representation in London and the rest of the UK, in association with UKTI and the UK's diplomatic network.[473] The City has also identified an opportunity to set up a centre for Islamic finance by working with Malaysia to develop a "gold standard" for this type of finance. While the size of the market is small, establishing this industry would demonstrate the UK's openness.[474]

184.  The BBC also claims to act as a "National Champion" for the wider economy, travelling on trade missions with small and medium-sized enterprises and using its brand to help them punch above their weight.[475] The BBC told us that its global activities build the reputation of the UK's creative industries; indirectly benefit the UK economy through providing an international platform for UK talent and creativity; and enhance the UK's reputation as a source of desirable products and as an attractive place to visit, study and do business.[476] In the financial year 2012-13 BBC Worldwide achieved headline sales of £312.3 million.[477] PACT, the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, told us that "Arguably the success that the sector has generated has reaped huge benefits for the UK and has been driven by the BBC Worldwide, the independent sector and others".[478] The BBC's evidence claimed that part of their success in supporting British commerce and tourism derived from the BBC's "even-handed global perspective", which meant that the corporation could be both impartial and "an attractor to Britain", reflecting "British knowledge, British expertise, British culture and British values".[479]

185.  As the UK's international trade promotion body, UKTI forms part of the UK's soft power assets, helping to build positive cross-border connections. The Government described how UKTI works with the FCO and BIS to help promote international trade and investment, supporting UK exporting businesses by providing high-level political and economic analysis and access to decision-makers around the world; identifying new business opportunities; sharing intelligence and managing risk through knowledge of the local political and economic environment; using inward and outward high-level visits to lobby on behalf of UK interests and trade opportunities; supporting UK trade missions around the world; and coordinating Government relationships with key businesses to help remove barriers to international trade and investment.[480]

186.  The Committee heard an array of opinions, some positive, some negative, about the effectiveness of UKTI in promoting British business.[481] The impression that we have gathered is that UKTI's budgets are too fragmented, its decision-making structures too complex, and its resources too stretched, for the organisation to have the impact that the country needs.[482] UK Trade Facilitation argued that the work undertaken by UKTI was "fundamental to the overseas expansion of UK companies", but said that "Like other government agencies … its resources have been slashed and its effectiveness blunted".[483] In addition, there seems to be a lack of coordination between the FCO, UKTI and BIS on promoting the UK's commercial opportunities overseas[484], despite the frequent emphasis from the current Prime Minister on the importance of the 'global race' in which the UK is engaged.[485] It is the Committee's opinion that the Government must take positive steps to link soft power deployment and support for the country's exports, its enterprise, and its innovation.

187.  We heard a number of suggestions about how to improve the international performance of bodies that promote UK businesses. Witnesses demanded better support from the British Chambers of Commerce, which, they claimed, compare unfavourably with counterparts abroad, particularly those in Germany.[486] Uday Dholakia said, "I feel really depressed when I go abroad and see that my competitors have all the data from the French chamber, the German chamber, and US Department of Commerce and the only access I have is to [a] report from UKTI".[487] In the same evidence session, Peter Callaghan, Director General of the Commonwealth Business Council, reported that when it comes to the formation of international consortia following trade missions, which further enhance cross-border linkages: "the Germans … the Chinese and the Japanese are much better than we are. They form consortiums willingly, and that is soft power".[488]

188.  Nick Baird CMG CVO, then Chief Executive Officer of UKTI, related how Germany has "an extremely good and interesting model" of export support,

    "particularly for supporting SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] …You go to your local chamber, and it provides a complete one-stop-shop service to an SME, whether it be the trade finance, insurance, how you get your IP [intellectual property], or how you find an appropriate distributor. It is all done in one place and is very much linked into a global network. If you are an SME and you want to export in the UK, you think, 'Where do I go?'. Some of them may know UKTI, but we do not provide a complete one-stop-shop service. We do not do documentation for exporting, for example, which is done in the chambers [of commerce]".[489]

189.  Some witnesses felt that UKTI offered support mostly to the sales missions of large and already well-established UK firms, not SMEs.[490] David Stanley claimed that UKTI's "focus is very much on the big business opportunities that there are, and its support to SMEs is much less".[491] The Lord Mayor of London told us that

    "When it comes to the trade side, we have also had the comment everywhere that British companies could do more and that there could be more of them. There are always one or two large ones. There is always Arup, Balfour Beatty, maybe Atkins and one or two others, but we have 10, 15 or 20 companies that do a lot of activity, whereas the Germans have 50 companies [that] do a lot of activity".[492]

190.  The Committee is not in a position to advocate adopting the German model of funding for Chambers of Commerce, which is based on compulsory subscription to local chambers.[493] However, we are pleased that the Government are seeking to "replicate" this model as far as possible, through "the transference of much of what UKTI has historically done to chambers of commerce … so that our chambers of commerce overseas will do a lot of the work, the gestation work … That would leave UKTI to do the more strategic work on tariff reform, the big issues, the work that you need for FTAs [free trade agreements] and things like that. The follow through will therefore work better", as Hugo Swire MP told the Committee.[494] Such an approach would be similar to the American model, where according to Mr Baird,

    "there is a strong chamber movement … and a very small government effort. That is precisely the model that we are seeking to move towards ourselves: to retain a significant in-house activity, principally in support of major campaigns. That does not necessarily mean just large companies. It means … high-value campaigns where you have large contractors, their supply chains, inward investment, bringing investment here, and outsourcing our SME advisory activity".[495]

191.  We welcome the Government's recognition of the importance of supporting exporting SMEs. A House of Lords Select Committee recently conducted an inquiry into this subject and we urge the Government to continue working on implementing its recommendations.[496]

192.  We agree with the evidence that we heard from a number of witnesses that UKTI should encourage more follow-up work in the aftermath of trade missions. This could include support for the formation of voluntary international trade consortia.[497] UKTI need not lead such consortia directly, but could play a role in bringing together interested parties in order to build upon relationships established during trade missions: "to facilitate [and] encourage different firms to get together and know each other", as one witness proposed.[498] Helping British businesses to export their goods and services to other countries and form supply chains and consortia is crucial for building up the UK's soft power, as these international connections strengthen trust in the UK and its reputation for providing valuable outputs. It is also vital that the UK's trade promotion bodies pull out all the stops to capitalise on the UK's soft power and translate it into trade deals. We urge the Government to put every energy into this effort.

193.  In turn, we feel that UKTI, and other organisations working to promote British commercial interests abroad, must receive maximum support from UK Embassies overseas. This is undoubtedly already the case in many instances. But Embassy staff should undergo training in seeking out opportunities for British SMEs as well as large businesses. The Government should also encourage the FCO actively to recruit more advisory staff from the private sector, and we approve of the FCO's introduction of private sector secondments for Ambassadors going to post.[499] What used to be purely commercial work should now be reinforced by linkages to new audiences in cultural, educational and broader spheres, to propel forward the whole UK 'package'.

194.  Hugo Swire MP told us: "My view is that the people who own the UK abroad are the FCO and everyone should come under our compound as closely on our terms as possible. That is not universally popular but we are beginning to do that and so better co-ordinate where possible".[500] Dr Andrew Murrison MP said that such "collocation" was "clearly right".[501] Maria Miller MP claimed that Embassies are "sales team[s] on the ground".[502] The Committee suggests that wherever feasible, UK Government bodies working to promote British commercial interests in a particular country should be brought under one roof, and under the direct purview of the Ambassador to ensure effective coordination of all the UK's efforts 'on the ground'.

195.  We heard that the Government are focusing their resources on key markets through programmes such as the Emerging Powers Initiative.[503] As this initiative develops, it will need to take into account the very different circumstances of and stages of development now reached by economies which were formerly 'emerging'. It will also need to recognise the distinct—and potentially advantageous—nature of relationships with 'emerging' powers that form part of the Commonwealth network. The Government will need to keep the performance of these markets under close review, and be prepared to change tack if economic circumstances demand and as the status and prospects of different emerging economies undergo rapid change.[504] The Committee welcomes early Government moves towards such a review process.[505] Constructive engagement with economies of a range of sizes is good for trade, not least because global supply chains are now so complex, and involve so many partners.[506]


196.  Tourism adds £115 billion to UK GDP annually and employs 2.6 million people; nine per cent of the UK economy on both measures.[507] Overseas visitors make up a significant amount of this sum: they spent a record £18.7 billion in the UK in 2012, contributing £3.2 billion to public funds in taxation, and £21 billion in 2013, a 13 per cent increase.[508] The Government claimed that their GREAT Britain campaign, which launched in 2011, has added £500 million in tourism revenues to the UK economy.[509] In 2012, tourist visits to the UK increased by one per cent to 31 million; a recent House of Lords Select Committee Report found that the increase in tourism attributed to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games of that year were "being sustained and improved".[510] Newly released Office for National Statistics figures suggested that London saw a 20 per cent rise in visitor numbers in 2013, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world.[511]

197.  VisitBritain cited the Premier League, the BBC, the monarchy and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as tourism pull factors.[512] Museums and other collections also play a key role in attracting tourists to the UK: for example one in 10 overseas visitors to the UK, and one in four overseas visitors to London, visits the British Museum.[513] The National Museum Directors' Council told us that overseas visits to national museums have increased by 95 per cent in the past decade, with over 19 million overseas visits between 2011 and 2012.[514] Visitors to museums from Africa, Asia, and south and central America increased from six per cent of overseas visits between 2010 and 2011 to 11 per cent between 2011 and 2012.[515]

198.  According to VisitBritain, visitors to the UK return home with an increased appreciation for the UK, and have a greater knowledge and understanding of the business opportunities that it provides. A "halo effect" transmits some of these soft power benefits to their family, friends and colleagues.[516] Those who have visited the UK are more likely to live, work and study in the UK according to figures from the 2012 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index cited by VisitBritain.[517]

199.  For this virtuous cycle to persist, the visitor's experience of the UK must be positive. The reception of visitors at airports, railway stations and ferry terminals contributes to the impression that visitors form of the UK.[518] Tara Sonenshine suggested that "most public diplomacy begins at the airport. That is your first contact … Your first view of another country is, when you step off the plane on to their territory, will the person be warm and welcoming? Will I feel that I do not just get my stamp, but I am now viewed as an asset to your culture and society?"[519] Mark Harper MP, then Minister for Immigration, told us that the October 2013 data for Heathrow showed that 100 per cent of European Economic Area (EEA) passengers and 99.73 per cent of non-EEA passengers passed through border queues within the target times of 25 minutes and 45 minutes respectively. The average queuing time for EEA passengers at Heathrow was two minutes, and the national average was five minutes. For non-EEA passengers these figures were six minutes for Heathrow and seven minutes nationally.[520]

Supporting the UK's excellence in education

200.  The UK's education sector is a major contributor to the UK's soft power.[521] The higher education sector in particular enjoys a reputation for excellence in learning.[522] This reputation attracts high-quality students, teachers and academics from across the world, contributing to the strength of the education sector and to the UK's skills base, intellectual output and wider economy. We heard that education is the second most valuable global sector after healthcare, and that the UK is performing well. British education exports were worth £17.5 billion in 2011.[523]

201.  According to Sir Martin Davidson there are around 0.5 million foreign students at all levels learning in the UK.[524] Eighteen per cent of the UK higher education sector student base is international, and over 25 per cent of faculty are from countries outside the EU.[525] The UK is the second most popular destination for international higher education students after the US, with 13 per cent of the international market.[526] Lord Williams of Baglan reported that seven of the world's top 50 universities are British (more than twice as many as the rest of Europe); Professor Cox had counted about 17 British universities in the top 100 in 2012.[527]

202.  Bringing learners and educators into the UK from abroad, and exporting students, teachers and educational institutions overseas, help to build social and cultural links and strengthen business and research ties.[528] We learnt that international students in UK-based educational institutions "develop an awareness and respect for UK culture, governance, institutions and history" and gain exposure to "UK norms and cultural values".[529] Professor Riordan told us that a BIS report had found that 95 per cent of UK university international alumni are "positively orientated" towards the UK.[530] Most international higher education students who leave the UK after study retain professional and personal links: 84 per cent, suggested one study.[531] British universities are therefore "centres for shaping the thoughts of the future elite in the world".[532]

203.  Students returning to their home countries can be the UK's "greatest ambassadors".[533] Many go on to hold influential posts, including government roles, in their home countries.[534] This connection puts the UK and its businesses in a position to engage successfully with the leaders of the future, perhaps particularly in developing countries: what the Independent Schools Council called "a global influence over future professionals, business leaders and political leaders" based on their "trust in the UK".[535] Universities UK and the UK Higher Education International Unit (UUK and IU) cited the example of a PhD graduate from the University of Cambridge who held a director-level post in the central bank' of China. He told a BIS study that when he was involved in negotiations with the Bank of England, he went into those negotiations "emotionally bonded" to the UK.[536]

204.  Many people abroad view British independent schools as being of a very high standard, as John Micklethwait reported.[537] Children at such schools bring in an estimated £750 million in school fees each year, as well as the value of their consumer spending and that of their visiting families, and many continue to purchase UK products as alumni.[538] Seventy-seven per cent of international pupils at Independent Schools Council schools go on to universities in the UK (equating to 8,000 entrants per year).[539] Harrow set up a third school in the Asia region in Hong Kong in 2012; many other UK independent schools have also established 'daughter' schools overseas.[540] Their students are likely to form a lasting connection with the UK, even without crossing its borders.

205.  The UK is also a leading exporter of transnational education: the delivery of education outside the country in which an awarding body is based. Between 2011 and 2012 some 570,000 higher education students underwent UK transnational education.[541] A decade after Nottingham University established its campus in Malaysia, more than 60 UK educational institutions have established ties with Malaysian counterparts.[542] The Government calculated that around 48,000 Malaysians have taken UK qualifications, of which around 14,000 studied in the UK.[543] David Blackie, Director of International Education Connect Ltd, highlighted the UK's international "offerings" of electronic libraries, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and specialist online courses[544]; the Commonwealth of Learning, of which the UK is a funder, is concerned with the promotion of open and distance learning for development.[545]

206.  Exporting Education UK raised a caveat, however. While the UK currently has an enviable reputation for education, the market for international students is intensely competitive.[546] Asia House wrote that although British universities are "at the top of the world tree … this will only remain true while our leading educational institutions are rigorous in defence of independent thinking and academic standards".[547] According to UUK and IU, the UK spends significantly less on tertiary education (including research) as a proportion of GDP than the OECD average. While the UK therefore "punches above its weight" there is no room for complacency. We agree that there should be reinforced private and public investment and supportive policy-making to protect the UK education sector's global position.[548]

Scholarships and scholars—nurturing the two-way flow

207.  The UK has a number of national scholarships programmes designed to help "build a strong, international network of friends of the UK who will rise to increasingly influential positions over the years".[549] Chevening scholarships, run by the FCO, are offered to 118 countries; Marshall scholarships, also awarded by the FCO, are available to US citizens; and Commonwealth scholarships are provided by DFID, BIS and the Scottish Government to Commonwealth countries. The Government called these scholarships "key features of British soft power diplomacy" because they exposed students to "British values, culture and diversity". The Chevening scholarships, for example, have resulted in an "influential alumni network" of 42,000 students, with large alumni communities in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and South Korea; the Government intends significantly to expand the Chevening programme, particularly in emerging powers.[550]

208.  The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) described how a survey of Commonwealth scholarship alumni found that 45 per cent of respondents had influenced government thinking in specific policy areas, and 25 per cent had held public office.[551] A 2012 survey of Marshall scholarship alumni had found that 18 per cent of respondents had held a political or public-related post. Scholarship alumni seemed to have a willingness to maintain their connections with the UK, with 45 per cent of Marshall scholarship survey respondents having made a donation to or financial investment in a UK institution.[552] ACU suggested that British Embassies were now equipped with better information on alumni.[553] Hugo Swire MP hailed as crucial such moves to keep in touch with alumni and "bind them in". He said that alumni "rise up in whatever sector of society—civil society, politics, sport or business—and you have them, so you need to keep them".[554] He also declared that he wanted "dramatically" to increase the number of Chevening scholarships, which have declined in recent years, to pre-2010 levels by bringing in more private funding.[555]

209.  We were told that total Government investment in these scholarships is about £42 million per annum to support around 2,500 individuals—lower than countries such as Australia (AUD 334.2 million in 2012), France (€86 million in 2009), and Germany (with 17,674 individuals supported in 2011).[556] Given that the UK cannot hope to compete with countries such as China, which is using vast resources to promote the study of Chinese language and culture (including by currently hosting 12,000 African students), the UK could act more strategically when offering education opportunities to potential future leaders.[557] In 2011, 27 of the serving Heads of State from around the world had studied in the UK.[558] The FCO could sustain the important connections formed through education by working with universities and schools to scope out opportunities for the establishment of overseas campuses, and by funding new and targeted scholarships in key growth areas such as Africa.[559] Such an approach would help to "build up trust and influence and secure our market position in the 'African lion' economies of the 21st century".[560] The Government should ensure that the Chevening, Commonwealth and Marshall awards offer a coherent package of engagement with the UK and its Embassies during the period of the scholarship and afterwards.[561] We therefore strongly support Hugo Swire MP's proposals to establish a coherent database of the career trajectory of scholarship recipients, and develop branded ties and scarves for alumni to reinforce the feeling of a community with a particularly close connection to the UK.[562]

210.  Jonathan McClory felt that reducing funding for Chevening scholarships had been a serious error.[563] While we are pleased to hear that "the Chevening cuts are in the process of being reversed", this is the minimum that the Government should do.[564] Greater investment in scholarships by other countries is threatening the UK's competitive position. The Committee feels that a relatively small amount of extra funding would bring the country into line to ensure that the brightest and best of the world's future leaders feel an affinity with the UK.

211.  Lastly, we heard that in 2010, only around 23,000 UK students were studying for a degree abroad. This represented just 0.9 per cent of students, although the figure does not include those studying overseas for periods of less than one academic year, such as the 12,833 UK students who were taking part in study abroad as part of the EU's Erasmus student exchange scheme, or who were on a work placement. We heard from UUK and IU that the Government's industrial strategy on international education[565] recognised the need to encourage such interactions through the development of an Outward Mobility Strategy to promote study and work abroad to UK students as part of their study programmes. "In order to maximise the soft power created through these interactions, full commitment to the aims of the strategy is needed from across government and the sector", UUK and IU argued.[566] We agree that study abroad provides soft power benefits to the UK, and that the Government should work with universities to increase the number of students who are studying in other countries.

Working together: research collaboration

212.  Academic and scientific collaboration represents one of the most effective forms of diplomacy, according to the ACU.[567] Research is a global, rather than a national, undertaking: strong links with researchers around the world are essential for maintaining the UK's internationally renowned research base and the pull of its education sector.[568] Research cooperation exposes researchers (academic, commercial or government) to like-minded people from other cultures, building trust and personal networks that can reinforce bilateral relationships, as well as facilitating knowledge transfer.[569]

213.  Research Councils UK has established offices in China, the US and India.[570] As part of the UK India Education and Research Initiative, the UK has set up over 600 new education and research partnerships with India since 2011.[571] UUK and IU told us that, as well as building relationships, collaboration is likely to have positive results for research impact, creating a virtuous circle that boosts the UK's research reputation, attracting further collaboration.[572]

214.  Research from UK universities and research institutes aids the country's understanding of other societies and cultures, and cultivates the UK's reputation for openness. The Arts and Humanities Research Council and British Academy have supported 'area studies' research centres focused on China, the Arab world, eastern Europe, Russia and east Asia.[573]

215.  UK universities also make an important contribution to the UK's soft power through their "reputation for quality, authority and expertise", according to Research Councils UK.[574] Publications such as the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and Nature have contributed to the reputation of British science, as have respected institutions such as the Royal Societies and individuals like Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.[575] The UK punches well above its weight in science: with one per cent of the world's population, the UK provides three per cent of global funding for research, 7.9 per cent of the world's scientific papers, 11.8 per cent of global citations, and 14.4 per cent of the world's most highly cited papers.[576]

216.  Scientific cooperation can improve relations between countries and regions, making diplomacy easier. BIS has worked to bring its peer-review standards for research funding allocation to China and the Brazilian state of São Paulo to enable more joint research, using the UK's relationships and reputation in science and higher education to exert influence and change others' behaviour in a way that, they claimed, benefits both those countries and the UK.[577] Scientific cooperation agreements can serve as symbols of international unity during trying periods. Such agreements include those between the US and China and the USSR during the Cold War. Institutions such as CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the International Space Station foster and embody international cooperation; international agreements on science funding such as the EU's Horizon 2020 (with an €80 billion budget) also bring governments together.[578] The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health argued that the UK's strong reputation in life sciences creates a level of prestige that "attracts further investment and talent and creates opportunities for significant political and commercial influence". For instance, the NHS's Moorfields Eye Hospital has a branch in Dubai's 'Healthcare City', which generated a profit of £390,000 between 2012 and 13.[579]

217.  But the Royal Society argued that in several ways, the UK is failing to make the most of this potential. We suggest that the Government should consider greater integration of science within their foreign policy strategy, objectives and formulation.[580] For example, they should identify the ways in which science can inform diplomacy. The Government should also put considerable effort into assuming leadership roles in multilateral efforts to address science-related policy problems. To strengthen links between British scientists and their counterparts overseas, the Government should provide particular diplomatic assistance to scientists working in regions with weak governance. They should work to ensure that security concerns around nuclear physics and microbiology, for example, do not entirely limit progress or international cooperation in these areas. British Embassies should also more actively communicate scientific initiatives, and the FCO should give training in science policy to diplomatic staff.[581]

English, language teaching and the UK's connectivity

218.  English is "a critical element in the soft power of the UK" because of the unfettered access to the vast majority of the UK's cultural assets afforded to overseas English speakers.[582] Most of the UK's cultural outputs, such as its literature, music, films and television programmes, are accessible to a huge audience, creating opportunities for people to develop a relationship with the UK.[583]

219.  The British Council told us that the long-term economic benefit to the UK of the English language has been estimated at £405 billion.[584] The Lord Mayor of London considered that English is "the international language of finance", maintaining London and New York's position at the heart of the financial world.[585] English is the universal language of global contractual business, putting British businesses at an advantage in networking, communicating and negotiating.[586] Stephen Pattison of ARM Holdings felt that it was a "hugely beneficial advantage" to his firm to be able to operate in English all over the world.[587] Nick Baird of UKTI also listed English as "a major comparative advantage", and told us that UKTI's research showed that the language was a big element in attracting inward investment.[588] We also noted reports that growing numbers of major international businesses outside the Anglophone world are making English their official language, not least because it provides better global access, and—because English does not employ the status distinctions that characterise many Asian languages—it is said to encourage free and more innovative modes of thinking and operating.[589]

220.  According to the British Council, 1.5 billion people around the world are currently learning English, and many look to the UK to provide them with teachers.[590] Around 500,000 people globally learn English at the British Council's teaching centres in 60 countries, and it reaches hundreds of millions more through websites, MP3 players, radio, television and social media.[591] The Council wrote that "Nothing builds trust more effectively or is wanted more consistently from the UK worldwide, than our expertise and help in the English language".[592] The Council uses its English-teaching expertise to "open up" relationships with overseas Ministries of Education, enabling it "to work across state education sectors improving quality and building capacity in teaching, teacher training, curriculum development, assessment and other areas", such as improving classroom teaching and teacher development in Borneo.[593] The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2011 estimated the value of the English language teaching industry annually to be worth £2.3 billion to the British economy.[594] Nick Baird noted that the global opportunities for UK English language providers are huge and growing exponentially.[595]

221.  One of the main reasons that international students are attracted to the UK's schools and universities is because of their familiarity with the English language.[596] The British Council manages and distributes UK-based examinations, providing annual export earnings of over £70 million to UK examination boards and professional bodies, and accredits over 550 UK schools, colleges and universities as providers of quality English language learning throughout the world.[597] It brokers opportunities for the UK English language-teaching sector, arranges seminars on market opportunities, and publishes market reports.[598] In developing and emerging economies, the British Council have used DFID funding to deliver training for 1,650 teacher training college tutors in Tanzania; and have partnered with Intel to provide English language learning materials on 100 million computers by 2020.[599] The Council has initiated a programme to train 10,000 English teachers a year in partnership with Burma (Myanmar)'s Ministry of Education, and undertaken to train hundreds of Kazakhstani teachers in the UK each year.[600]

222.  Gillespie and Webb cited the "pedagogic rigour and conduct of British Council exams" as demonstrating the UK's commitment to the values that it wishes to promote.[601] Yet Research Councils UK told us that the providers of international examinations in British English faced stiff competition from alternative programmes in the US: "As the influence of American English grows, pressure is created on the UK [English language teaching] industry". If the most popular examinations slant towards one variety of English, so will the teaching materials. This pressure is intensified both by the soft power of the US, and by the funding granted to research into language teaching and testing in the US.[602] Durham Global Security Institute reported that the British Council's funding cuts—of £150 million, or 26 per cent of its grant income between 2010 and 2015[603]—will not help its efforts to promote English teaching. They said that "Cuts to the British Council and to the BBC [see below], both of which promote not just English, but also an understanding of British culture, history and policies, should be reversed if we aim to harness this soft power more effectively".[604] Jonathan McClory argued that cutting funding for the British Council was "a big mistake".[605]

223.  The Committee is concerned that the Government are not supporting the teaching of British English as well as they might. The Government must ensure that the British Council is properly resourced. The Committee recognises that its charitable status means that the British Council has to be selective about working with private education providers; we heard some complaints about how the British Council seems to compete with British businesses.[606] In order to ensure that its position does not disadvantage private-sector education providers, the Government should require the British Council to provide in its annual report a much more detailed appraisal of the work that it has done to support private sector British English education across the world.[607]

224.  Peter Callaghan told us that the UK "bridges the gap between the European world and other parts of the world" including Africa, North America and Asia.[608] The UK's convenient time zone, between the Far East and the Americas, adds to the strength of the UK's services sector, and its financial centre in particular.[609] The UK is able to do business and communicate with the world "on a global basis, where everything takes place eight hours before or eight hours after us", as Richard Scudamore put it; this also helps live broadcasting of the UK's sports and other events.[610] But the UK must not be complacent: London's temporal advantage is shared by Frankfurt, Paris and Luxembourg.[611]

225.  The UK's capacity to build connections is constrained by the small number of its citizens who are able to speak foreign languages. The UK and its people cannot solely rely on English. Globally, one in four people might speak English, but three in every four do not.[612] A lack of foreign language skills could diminish British people's openness to cultural engagement, and creates the perception overseas that the country is unwelcoming. According to the Education and Employers Task Force, the loss of business as a result of poor language competency is costing the UK £7.3 billion per year, or 0.5 per cent of GDP.[613] Given the transition towards a more people-to-people, reciprocal form of international relations, remaining mono-lingual goes against the grain of how influence and engagement, and therefore power, now operate. Indeed, businesses in nine key economies (including India, China and Brazil) have said that they place a high value on intercultural and language skills.[614]

226.  We therefore urge the Government to make every effort to redress the decline in language learning in UK schools and universities. The Government could also provide increased support for study-abroad programmes, for instance by extending the British Council's Generation UK programme, which aims to enable 15,000 young people to undertake a fully funded study or work placement in China by 2016. The British Council plans to extend the scheme to India as well.[615]

Visa and immigration policies and their impact on the UK's power and influence

227.  The UK necessarily has visa and immigration regimes to regulate the ability of foreign nationals to come to the UK to live, to work, to learn, or as tourists. However the Government should be wary of introducing policies that, however inadvertently, undermine the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business with; visit; and study, carry out research and learn English in. In almost every one of our evidence sessions, witnesses told us that the Government's new visa policies[616] were harming the assets that build the UK's soft power.[617] John Micklethwait was scathing about how these policies have affected UK commerce. He told us:

    "I think that visas are just a crime … It is economically suicidal. It is possibly one of the most bananas policies we could humanly have. All you need to do is to talk to businesspeople or, indeed, students in any other country who want to come and spend money here. … It is completely useless in terms of recruiting people. You look at something like the recent visa kerfuffle in Brazil. We have just spent a huge amount of money sending government Ministers out there.[618] We then made it virtually impossible for Brazilians to come here, and whatever small plus point there was with all the money going to Brazil was completely wiped out overnight".[619]

228.  John Dickie, Strategy and Policy Director of London First, was in agreement about the damage being done to the UK's trade: "We have seen something like 30 changes to the Immigration Rules since 2010 that make it very difficult for slightly smaller businesses to plan how they are going to bring highly skilled people in from abroad".[620] The Government should take into account the damaging impact that "unnecessarily complicated visa systems" can have on the success of the UK's creative industries' plans to do business with other countries.[621] While recognising the real complexity of the problems inherent in the handling of visa and immigration issues—and that completely unregulated immigration would be likely to have a detrimental effect on social cohesion, and therefore damage the UK's image abroad—we call on the Government to present and communicate their visa and immigration policies with a level of balance and in a tone that do not discourage those who would add to the UK's prosperity from coming to the UK and supporting its businesses and trade. We do not believe that this is always the case at present.

229.  Likewise, we concur with VisitBritain that Government policy can enhance tourism by providing an efficient and intelligible system of visas and border controls. VisitBritain told us that: "with around 1.7 million visit visas issued each year it is important to have a high quality visa service enabling legitimate travellers to come to the UK. Almost £1 in every £6 spent in Britain by overseas residents is from those who require a visa to visit".[622] We note the concerns raised by the UK China Visa Alliance about the difficulty for potential tourists in obtaining UK visas in a key market, China, and, like them, we welcome the Government's announcement that they intend to make UK visas more attractive to Chinese visitors by putting in place a joint application form for UK and Schengen visas, and to improve visa access for citizens of some Gulf states.[623] This should help to increase Chinese visitor numbers, as tourists from that country will more easily be able to visit the EU and UK on the same trip.[624] We now urge the Government to improve visa application processes—including access to visa processing facilities—for other key growth areas such as India and other Commonwealth nations, and to keep a close eye on competitors' visa policies. France, for example, has recently introduced a 48-hour fast-track visa application service for visitors from China.[625] The Government must make every effort to ensure that legitimate tourists can access UK visas quickly, easily and cheaply, as they contribute so much to both the UK's economy and the UK's international standing.

230.  The UK's "overall growth in international student numbers of 4,570 in 2011-12 is tiny compared to recent US figures of a growth of 41,000 students over the same period", we were told by the British Council.[626] The UK is the second most popular destination for Indian nationals looking to study overseas, but since 2011 it has seen a 20 per cent drop in the number of students coming from India. Recently published Higher Education Statistics Agency figures suggested that the number of Indian first-year students beginning courses in the academic year 2012-13 fell by 25 per cent, following a 32 per cent drop the previous academic year, while the number of non-EU students entering UK universities fell by one per cent over the same period, the first such decline ever recorded.[627] UUK and IU were concerned that the downturn followed years of strong growth. They warned that the trend was "significantly below" that required for the 15-20 per cent increase in international student numbers over the next five years that the Government's industrial strategy for international education considers "realistic". [628]

231.  The evidence that the Committee received was emphatic that these falls in student numbers were due to UK visa policies and visa administration. Lord Williams of Baglan suggested that while "Universities are such a critical part of this country's infrastructure, nationally and internationally … this cannot be sustained with the present visa regime. People will eventually go to their second and third choices if they cannot get in".[629] Professor Riordan told the Committee that:

    "the changes to the visa regime since 2010 have had a distinct effect, in that our student numbers from overseas have been growing strongly for 16 years but this year[630] have dipped by 0.4 per cent. We could have expected growth rates of five per cent, 10 per cent, 15 per cent or even higher, which our rivals are enjoying at the moment. There are a couple of specific reasons for that, such as the increased cost of visas and the complexity of getting a visa to come here".[631]

232.  Richard Dowden wrote that "In many countries in Africa would-be students have to spend over £1,000 to travel to another country to buy a visa to the UK".[632] We also heard that international applications to UK private schools have suffered as a result of visa restrictions: the Independent Schools Council told us that the UK's "stringent immigration laws" are "making the UK seem like an unwelcoming country to overseas students".[633]

233.  We agree with Universities UK and the International Unit that international students "should not be caught up in efforts to reduce immigration. Visa procedures should be implemented in a way that is consistent with the government's aim for a 15-20 per cent increase [in international student admissions] over the next five years".[634] We acknowledge the arguments made by the Home Office about why students should continue to be included in migration figures—that the United Nations' "definition of net migration includes all migrants changing their place of residence for 12 months or more"; that the most recent figures available appear to show that 16 per cent of people given settlement in the UK in 2011 had arrived originally as students; and that competitors such as the US also count students as migrants.[635]

234.  Yet we feel that counting students as part of overall migration figures is not only destructive of the UK's attractiveness and international links, but is disingenuous. For example, the UN definition represents only one potential definition of net migration. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) does not include students in net migration figures until they have spent 36 months in a country. The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee recently concluded that "While [the UN definition] may be helpful in terms of national reporting of migration trends, it is a less helpful measure in respect of domestic immigration policy, as it has the potential to distort the true picture of net migration in the United Kingdom".[636] The same Committee Report found that "Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand have each reviewed their respective visa regimes for students in recent years to make their countries a more attractive study destination for the international student market. In the US, for example, while the US Census Bureau include students in their overall figures, the Department of Homeland Security excludes them for migration policy purposes, treating them like business visitors and tourists as 'non-immigrant admissions'". This is not quite the picture that the then Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP, drew for us when he claimed that the US "count[s] [students] as migrants".[637]

235.  We therefore believe that the Government should remove students from net migration targets, and publish data on how previous progress on migration targets would have looked had the Government not counted students in previous years. The Government must work harder to ensure that their efforts to cut migration by those who would not add to the UK's wellbeing do not prevent those whose presence would further the UK's domestic and international interests from seeing the UK as welcoming. We note that we are the sixth Select Committee to recommend in this Parliament that the Government remove international students from the net migration target, and that the Chairs of the other five Commons and Lords Committees to do so wrote to the Prime Minister in January 2013 to stress their belief that this degree of consensus between committees of both Houses was unprecedented.[638]

236.  We also heard evidence that UK academic institutions have been "put at a competitive disadvantage through a visa system that makes it more difficult to hire academic staff from overseas". "Such appointees are (by definition) internationally mobile and highly sought after", UUK and IU told us, "and are less likely to choose to work in the UK if they feel that they would be unwelcome".[639] Evidence suggested that the ability for cultural institutions such as museums to "invite leading artists, curators, researchers and administrators to visit and work with their institutions" was also affected by stringent visa policies.[640] Again, we urge the Government to consider the effects that their visa and immigration policies might have on the UK's well-established reputation for academic and cultural cooperation. We further propose that the Government should acknowledge the effects that tighter visa regulations might have on UK scientists' ability to undertake international research collaboration. "Such policies shut out talented scientists, hinder opportunities to build scientific relations between countries, and often hold up progress in UK-based research", the Royal Society told us.[641]

237.  As well as doing damage to the UK's trade, tourism, international education industry and cross-border connections, a devastatingly large proportion of our witnesses told us that the messages about immigration recently sent out by the UK's policies have undermined the country's reputation for openness—and thereby injured yet another aspect of its soft power.[642] Uday Dholakia argued that the British are perceived "as being anti-investment, anti-business, anti-trade, with our regulations on visas and people coming into our universities".[643] Sir Martin Davidson told us that "You only have to look at how the Indian press reacted to the idea of a visa bond[644] to see how extremely negative the overseas perceptions are of this country from the way that we deal with visa applications. I cannot think of any senior discussion I have had over the last couple of years that has not started from the position of visas".[645] Professor Riordan suggested that "a perception has been created in the overseas press that we are not open for business for students and we are not welcoming to them. Irrespective of the reality of that, those are the types of headlines that you see consistently in India, China and other areas around the world".[646] The British Council echoed that "the message being received overseas is that the UK is closed for business".[647] John Micklethwait told us that the UK's visa policies were "bitterly resented".[648]

238.  The evidence we received regarding the impact of the UK's immigration policies on its soft power showed that policy needs to be better coordinated between Departments. Jonathan McClory found that publics overseas receive "strangely conflicting messages around Britain being 'open for business' to the world, whilst at the same time delivering very heavy anti-immigration rhetoric".[649] He cited an example from October 2013, when a story that damaged the UK's international reputation was picked up by global media: "on the front page of CNN's news website the featured story was about the Home Office's 'racist' vans … a lot of people internationally would look at and that was bang in the middle as the main-page story".[650] Indra Adnan noted that "Britain has become the home of many of the citizens of its former colonies" and was concerned that "Britain's ambivalence about the value of its immigrants allows the default story to arise—that Britain's interest in the globe was singular and selfish and holds no love of the world and its diversity at core".[651]

Soft power and diaspora communities

239.  Diaspora communities living in the UK can contribute to British soft power. The Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, recently wrote that the UK is fortunate to have "links to almost every other nation on earth through our history and diverse society".[652] Diasporas represent an important source of information about the UK to overseas communities. NABA claimed that "One of the most powerful inside tracks in terms of soft power for new markets rests among British citizens who have family, culture, religious, entertainment, arts, and trade and investment links with new markets. Tap into this synergy and [the] UK will have a powerful comparative advantage".[653]

240.  We heard from the Government how DFID is working with the UK's Pakistani diaspora, including journalists, to increase awareness and understanding of UK aid to Pakistan and to identify areas for shared outreach activities to encourage support for development work. They described how senior DFID officials engage with community groups by attending diaspora outreach events in the UK, and told us that the Department is exploring further opportunities to increase diaspora support for development in Pakistan, for example through donations and volunteering.[654]

241.  The BBC noted that it broadcasts to large diaspora community audiences in the UK, including 300,000 users of content in languages other than English. These readers, listeners or viewers may have considerable impact on political outcomes in other countries.[655] Professor Annabelle Sreberny of the School of Oriental and African Studies considered that the more that these communities "feel 'included in' to British culture and feel that our media channels, our public debates and our policies support their everyday lives, the greater the likelihood that shared values of tolerance, empathy and understanding will flower and be 'exported' by these transnational communities".[656] Gillespie and Webb pointed out the important role played by "successive waves of exiled, refugee, dissident, migrant and transnational intellectuals and writers who have helped to establish and renew the BBC's reputation", arguing that "their diasporic voices and the intimacy they create with audiences in imparting trusted information and news is critical to the [BBC World Service's] soft power".[657]

242.  Diaspora communities also act as a living embodiment of the country's reputation for embracing diversity. The British Council underlined how "The UK population is widely regarded as diverse, tolerant and accepting of difference—vital attributes in a globally connected world".[658] Sir Martin Davidson stressed that "Our acceptance of difference, our tolerance of different views, our diversity: all are seen as important aspects of the way we organise our society".[659] John Micklethwait considered that "The fact that London is so cosmopolitan is another reason why people want to come to this country".[660] Gilly Lord told us that she "would love Britain to be known for its diversity … the fact that we have this amazing multiethnic population, which should make us able to do business all over the world really successfully".[661]

243.  NABA stated, however, that the BBC lacks non-executives or senior policy input from British Asian communities, and that between 2000 and 2010 the total proportion of black and minority ethnic people employed by BBC News rose from 8.2 per cent to only 9.7 per cent. In the same period, they said, only three people of colour reached senior management positions, out of 90 posts.[662] Data that we received from the FCO suggested that of its 159 British Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Heads of International Organisations and Governors of Overseas Territories, 129 were male and just 30 (19 per cent) were female. Of FCO officers who made a voluntary declaration about their ethnicity, three per cent declared that they were from a BME (black and minority ethnic) background.[663] A focus on strengthening diversity in positions of influence is an important way to enhance the UK's reputation for being meritocratic and open.[664] Any lack of diversity risks squandering any soft power benefits that might accrue if representatives of communities that are in the minority in the UK, but which link to huge and powerful communities beyond the UK's shores, were more visible in British institutions and media. We also believe that improving the UK's record on gender equality in the boardrooms and corridors of power is of utmost importance, and could add to the UK's reputation in regions where the role of women is expanding.

244.  Indra Adnan highlighted the opportunity that the UK has to "build on its identity as a global-centric nation: having moved out into the world in its past, it has now welcomed the world back into its own borders".[665] Yet we feel that there is a real risk that anti-immigration rhetoric will lead immigrant communities in the UK to feel less welcome and less a part of the UK, with injurious consequences for the unity of the nation. This can only undermine the message of friendliness and diversity that the UK hopes to project.

Culture, influence, soft power and trust


245.  Research commissioned by the British Council showed that those who had engaged in cultural activity with the UK had a higher level of trust in its people and Government than those who had not, with a particularly high level generated by Council-run cultural activities.[666] The numbers of people whom the Council connect with on behalf of the UK are large: in 2012 it "reached" over 553 million people worldwide; attracted 12.7 million people to its exhibitions, fairs and festivals; and worked with 2.37 million examination candidates, 55.9 million website users and 143.8 million viewers, listeners and readers.[667]

246.  Our witnesses were, overall, effusive in their praise for the British Council's "leadership in promoting soft power".[668] It was described as "among the most important soft power assets of the UK", a "brilliant" global soft power player, and "world class".[669] The Lord Mayor of London applauded the Council for doing an excellent job, with UKTI, in "opening doors for British business".[670]

247.  The British Council sees itself as building international "trust" in the people and institutions of the UK, thereby supporting the country's prosperity and security; connecting "millions of people and thousands of institutions" to the UK; encouraging people to visit, study in and do business with the UK; attracting future leaders to engage with the UK; and "sharing the UK's most attractive assets: the English language, the arts, education and our ways of living and organising society".[671] It promotes "a better understanding of British culture".[672]

248.  The British Council also provides global public goods. In Burma (Myanmar), a quarter of a million people use British Council libraries for uncensored access to the internet, enabling them to "experience UK and international culture and freedom of expression in a safe, open environment".[673] Maria Miller MP told us that during her trip to China in December 2013, she had met with human rights organisations and social enterprise organisations partly funded by the British Council.[674] The Council works in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and other high-growth countries; fragile and post-conflict states like Libya, South Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan; "marginalised environments" like Burma (Myanmar) and Zimbabwe, where it builds "capacity and international connections for those who want access to the wider world"; and in Europe, the US, Japan, and the Commonwealth where it strives "to maintain, renew and enrich traditional ties".[675] It works with state and public education systems, and supports governance and economic development to strengthen societies.[676]

249.  The Council adds to the UK's international visibility and recognition: there are British Council offices in over 100 countries. According to Gillespie and Webb, the Council's offices and libraries around the world "have been one of the most visible material markers of Britain abroad".[677]


250.  The Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, wrote recently that the UK "remains a modern day cultural superpower".[678] The UK was ranked third in the world for cultural resources by the World Economic Forum in 2011.[679] The international work of the country's national and regional museums, galleries, libraries and collections contributes to the UK's soft power by creating "channels of communication" and conveying "different perspectives which may not be achieved through more conventional forms of diplomacy".[680] The pathways through which these impacts may arise include "Loans, academic study, acquisitions … special exhibitions [and] staff exchanges", all of which might underpin international connections.[681]

251.  For example in 2013 the British Council worked with the British Museum to tour the Pompeii Live exhibition to around 50 countries and over 1,000 cinemas.[682] In 2014, the UK/Russia Year of Culture will see a major Cosmonauts exhibition hosted at the Science Museum, made possible by partnerships with Russian museums and government bodies.[683] The V&A recently toured two exhibitions to Moscow, while its partnership with the Kremlin Museums saw two Russian exhibitions brought to London.[684] And the British Museum delivered a Leadership Training Programme for government museum and heritage professionals in India.[685] All of these exhibitions and programmes involved substantial international cooperation, creating cross-border bonds.

252.  Cultural bodies such as museums help to forge links between the UK and developing countries. The Scottish Government has funded collaborations between National Museums Scotland and the National Museum of Malawi, leading to exchanges of artefacts, staff, knowledge and skills training, while in April 2012 the V&A partnered with British Council Libya to mount the first exhibition in Benghazi following the revolution there.[686] The British Museum worked on the long-term redevelopment of a museum in Basra as part of the post-conflict regeneration effort in Iraq.[687] British cultural institutions are, in such ways, able to maintain relationships where diplomatic ties are weak or strained, or have been broken off.[688] We heard that the 2005 British Museum exhibition Forgotten Empire: the world of Ancient Persia was the venue for the first contact between the British Government and the Ahmadinejad administration in Iran; the Museum's loan of the Cyrus Cylinder to the national museum in Tehran "achieved a level of communication between the public sphere in [the UK] and Iran that is very, very difficult in other aspects of public life".[689]

253.  The British Museum claimed that its international work "helps to define Britain and its leading cultural organisations as both outward-looking and as facilitators of international dialogue and exchange".[690] According to the British Academy, culture can benefit the UK's soft power in the long term by creating "perceptions of excellence, creativity and distinctiveness, leading to admiration and to some degree a desire to emulate".[691]

254.  However, the National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC) warned us that "An impact of the recent public funding cuts may be that, as the cuts take effect, museums have to be more selective about the international work they undertake focusing more on less challenging or commercial activity".[692] The Museums Association found that between 2012 and 2013, 49 per cent of museums that responded to its survey had experienced cuts to their income.[693] In 2013 DCMS announced a five per cent budget reduction for 2015-16.[694] NMDC argued for more seed funding of cultural activities such as loans, academic study, acquisitions, peer support, special exhibitions, research, staff exchanges and maintenance of the permanent galleries.[695]

255.  The Committee acknowledges that in straitened economic times, the Government will have spending priorities other than the funding of the UK's cultural institutions. Yet now that the economy is returning to growth, we urge the Government to reconsider funding cuts to publicly subsidised collections. We suggest that the Government focus in particular on funding cultural exchanges with a demonstrable soft power value, along the lines of the Cyrus Cylinder tour to Iran.[696] We further propose that the Government use GREAT Campaign funding and advertising resources to promote specific cultural activities that are likely to increase inbound tourism.[697]


256.  Beyond its historic collections, other UK cultural assets have a wide appeal that adds to the country's international recognition and reputation. International tours of the UK's orchestras and theatrical, opera and dance companies are highly popular, according to the British Council.[698] The UK's architects, artists and designers are much in demand, with Lord Foster of Thames Bank, Dame Zaha Hadid, Thomas Heatherwick CBE and other leading figures transforming cityscapes and public spaces worldwide.[699] The UK's influence in the world of fashion is also significant, with British designers playing leading roles in the great fashion houses.[700] In most of the global creative content markets for music, film, TV, publishing and games, the UK is a major player.[701] The Bond film franchise and TV series Downton Abbey are enjoyed across the globe, while UK-based film-makers saw considerable success in the 2014 Academy Awards.[702] As Sir John Major pointed out to us, British albums top the charts in countries around the world, with global album sales of British artists taking a record 13.3 per cent of the worldwide total for 2012.[703] The UK's creative industries boost the UK's profile everywhere, especially among the global middle class with its discretionary spending power, appetite for media and cultural content, and increasing social influence.[704]

257.  The British Council suggested that "there has been a tendency for the UK to export its creativity rather than harness it—British ingenuity can be found at the heart of the success of Apple, Marvel and all the other [US] soft power pop culture powerhouses".[705] The Council noted that other countries offer significant government support to their cultural and creative industries. Through tax credits and other incentives, Hollywood "is more heavily subsidised than the UK's national arts institutions", the Council claimed.[706] French journalist Agnès Poirier explained to the Committee how the National Centre for Cinema "is an institution that works very well in France". This is not because the Centre is "heavily subsidised", she explained. It "does not rely on taxpayers; it does not rely on the state budget. It relies on regulations and on some taxes and levies; for instance, on every single cinema ticket sold". She added that "TV broadcasters have to invest a percentage of their turnover, and the Centre manages the redistribution of those revenues. It has a budget of €700 million a year". She concluded that "French cinema is one of France's big assets, but behind this there is policy" that "sustains an industry of 400,000 people in France, but [which] works on both an economic and artistic level".[707] In the UK, Peter Horrocks suggested that the Government could "create the conditions" for creativity.[708] We recommend that the Government should consider analysing tax incentives so that support for British creative industries is in line with the UK's competitors.

258.  Ingenious Media praised the British Council's Creative Economy Unit and Young Creative Entrepreneur programme, which "celebrates and connects emerging innovative and entrepreneurial leaders in the creative and cultural industries around the world".[709] Ingenious Media expressed disappointment that this Unit appeared to be under-resourced compared with the Council's more traditional activities.[710]

259.  We welcome the British Council's efforts to nurture creative industries. Because of their role in developing the innovators of the future, we would also underline the importance of teaching design and technology in British schools. In order to promote a business environment in which the creative industries might thrive, we further recommend that the Government ensure a regulatory environment that encourages creative industries to headquarter in the UK.[711]

Communications, soft power and the media

260.  The BBC is, in its own words, "one of Britain's leading global cultural assets".[712] It is able "to project positive values about the UK around the world, and enables the UK to accrue soft power, both geopolitically and economically" through providing global public goods.[713] These include "accurate, impartial objective journalism, free of national or commercial interest", which contributes to "the most trusted objective international news services".[714] Its work also enables "the open exchange of ideas, information, and values among nations and so helps to foster mutual understanding".[715] Given the diversity of the BBC's international services[716], there is scope for a coordinated and cohesive approach.

261.  Gillespie and Webb argued that the work of the BBC World Service (BBCWS) was "absolutely vital" to the UK's soft power, while Richard Dowden called the BBCWS "Britain's strongest tool of soft power".[717] According to Professor Rana Mitter (cited by the BBC), the World Service brand continues to be one of the best-known communications brands around the world—"No other international broadcaster comes close".[718]

262.  We heard from the BBC that because of its independence, the corporation is consistently rated the most trusted and best-known international news provider.[719] In the view of Professor Ngaire Woods (cited by the BBC), its "incredible gift" was "impartial information—that is what people thirst for".[720] The BBC noted "a marked difference in the values that are projected by international media such as CCTV [China Central Television], Press TV [based in Tehran], Russia Today, Al Jazeera [based in Doha] and Al-Arabiya [based in Dubai] and those of the BBC". But they warned how in African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and Benin, BBC deals have been cancelled because of more lucrative offers from Voice of America, CCTV, and Deutsche Welle.[721]

263.  Dr Iginio Gagliardone of the University of Oxford argued that China's expansion into the African media market forced "actors who have traditionally tried to exert their influence on a regional and global scale, such as the UK, to rethink their strategies of engagement with foreign audiences". This means that the BBC, for example, should "spell out its values more clearly, to further uphold the principles of impartiality and independent reporting that have gained it many fans all over the globe, and especially in Africa". Dr Gagliardone proposed that the British Government should offer clearer guides to companies engaging in work related to media and communications abroad, preventing UK-based companies from engaging in activities that may be detrimental to freedom of expression and privacy (for example, selling software that can be used for filtering or monitoring content). "This will help countries such as the UK maintain a moral high ground and contribute to achieving the goals of liberty and equality they uphold", he concluded.[722]

264.  Providing such a public service creates reputational benefit for the UK. Kofi Annan has called the BBC "Britain's greatest gift to the world".[723] Only one in six people live in a country with free media.[724] In Egypt, the BBC's audience quadrupled during the Arab Spring and has remained high, while during the wave of protests in Brazil in June 2013 BBC Brasil saw record figures for access to its digital content.[725] In the same month, audiences for BBC Arabic hit 33 million, while figures for Persian TV rose 90 per cent in the preceding year "despite censorship, deliberate jamming of satellites and the continued harassment of BBC journalists".[726] The World Service plays a significant role in post-conflict and fragile states, the corporation said, by providing impartial and trusted news.[727]

265.  Through its international development arm, BBC Media Action, and the BBC College of Journalism, the BBC supports capacity-building programmes for journalists and media organisations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Eastern Europe. It set up Iraq's only independent radio station providing public service broadcasting, and is now working with the state broadcaster of Burma (Myanmar) to improve its quality of content.[728]

266.  Though it takes a specifically non-British approach to broadcasting and finds strength in its operational independence from Government, the values underpinning the BBC reflect, however indirectly, the values that people overseas associate with the UK. As such, the BBC projects a positive image of the UK to the rest of the world. Peter Horrocks reported that "we absolutely reflect British values, and British values of fairness and impartiality are absolutely the bedrock".[729] According to Professor Mitter the BBC's content "positions Britain as a country which handles information in a sophisticated and productive way".[730] The BBC, along with the British Council, argued that its communication efforts with people overseas could maintain British connections and influence even when intergovernmental relations are strained.[731] Professor Mitter has said that "If Britain didn't have the BBC World Service, it would want to create it".[732] China and Russia, among other countries, are going to great lengths to create rival international media sources—an oblique acknowledgement of the BBC's contribution to soft power.[733]

267.  Despite these soft power benefits, the World Service has seen its funding cut by £2.2 million for the 2012-13 financial year.[734] The FCO grant to the British Council was cut by 6.98 per cent in the 2011-12 financial year. Jonathan McClory described this as an example of Government actions that have a "negative" effect on soft power.[735] We heard that the UK is disinvesting from the World Service just when rising powers are investing in international broadcasting and public diplomacy initiatives to project their strategic narratives onto a world stage.[736] Professor Rawnsley asked why,

    "At a time when governments around the world are expanding their international broadcasting—China in particular is engaged in an aggressive investment programme to expand its reach across the globe—the British are cutting back and closing language services … To abandon such relationships in the mistaken belief that they are antiquated and no longer required in order to save money is a mistake", he warned.[737]

268.  Professor Nye cautioned that while "the BBC World Service has an extraordinary position in terms of credibility", his impression was "that the new financial arrangements may mean that the BBC, and particularly the World Service, is going to be a little less well endowed and protected than it was in the past".[738] Yet if the World Service loses its status as a source trusted above other traditional media outlets—and above the free-for-all of social media—it will struggle to regain it in a media-saturated world.[739] While we understand that the BBC World Service's budget has been protected in the move to licence-fee funding, we are concerned that this protection might be more difficult to maintain in the face of future budget pressures and challenges to the principle of the licence fee.[740] Based on the weight of the evidence that we have received, we are concerned that the Government are not currently doing enough to support the BBC World Service, and we urge the BBC and the Government to ensure between them that the BBC World Service's budget is not reduced any further in real terms, and the opportunities for coordination across multiple platforms to deliver content are taken.

269.  The long-term importance for the UK's soft power of sustaining the World Service in a crowded environment means that it may not be sufficient simply to rely on funding from the licence fee without reviewing other possibilities.[741] Sir John Major told the Committee that:

    "the BBC World Service is a huge asset. People believe it and they listen to it, but, unfortunately, that is only about one in 30 people around the world. When you see the huge investment that has been made by other countries—China most obviously, but also there is America, and Al Jazeera and the Gulf—it would very much be in the British interest for the BBC World Service to be dramatically increased … it can do good; it is doing good; it can do more good; it should and it needs funding to do it".[742]

270.  In evidence to us, Hugo Swire MP said: "Do I have an in-principle objection to the World Service taking on some kind of sponsorship of broadcasting? Inherently, no, I do not". But he stressed that "it is not my call and these matters are best addressed to the Chairman of the BBC Trust".[743] The Committee feels that the Government should consider a range of funding options for the BBC World Service—including drawing on commercial sources for income[744]—to ensure that its reach and influence do not diminish in a newly competitive global media market.

271.  We stress that any reorganisation of the BBC World Service should be commercially self-sustaining, but that the suitability of any proposals must be judged against their potential to help or harm the global influence of the BBC World Service and the UK as a whole. Should the BBC Trust or the Government deem any commercialisation to be detrimental to the UK's influence, we urge the Government to seek other means of providing increased support to the World Service, perhaps from central taxation. However, we should never forget that the BBC's independence from Government is an essential part of its credibility, so that the case for more direct funding from Government is not always valid. The Government must avoid at all costs following the example of other states where nationally funded radio and TV stations (often resourced on a lavish scale) are seen as mere instruments of propaganda.

272.  The BBC Trust in December 2013 agreed that, following the transfer to licence-fee funding for the World Service, "funding through a grant from the Department for International Development for 'democratic governance' programmes (through BBC Media Action or directly) could continue".[745] The Committee supports the use of DFID funding to assist the BBC's development work, and we urge further consideration of how this type of support can be expanded.[746]

273.  Witnesses singled out two media outlets other than the BBC for their global reputation: the Financial Times and The Economist, which, according to Professor Cox, "have no significant competitors".[747] The Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, John Micklethwait, pointed out that with high-performance web connectivity and the rise of tablet computers, his subscribers—wherever in the world they were—could access The Economist in print, on a tablet, or in audio form.[748] The Financial Times is available across the world on the day of publication and is "read with admiration" everywhere, according to Sir John Major.[749]

274.  Professor Rawnsley highlighted the importance of press freedom. He argued that to maintain the UK's soft power capacity, the Government needed to act responsibly, and according to the "principles and traditions of democracy, free speech, human rights, rule by law and transparency". He felt that "Recent cases in which the government has been accused of violating privacy and press freedom undermine the UK's soft power potential", however.[750]

Sport and soft power

275.  Sport has an almost universal appeal that crosses language and cultural barriers, which makes it, in the British Council's eyes, "the most accessible and exportable of the UK's soft power assets".[751] The UK was the founder and codifier of many popular international sports.[752] Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, told us that now that hyper-connected international audiences "can see everything, people choose to gravitate towards the best. We are lucky that we are producing the best. This has huge impact on how positive people feel about us".[753] UK Sport identified several mechanisms through which sport enhances the UK's soft power: through UK athletes achieving world-class success, which showcases the UK as being able and willing to invest in its athletes, equipment, structures and expertise; through the UK influencing sport and sporting participation, including playing a leading role in shaping decisions taken by international sport organisations; and through hosting major sporting events in the UK.[754]

276.  We heard how the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games showcased many attractive features of the UK, including cutting-edge technology; innovation in infrastructure; management and organisational skills; helpful volunteers; and enthusiastic audiences. The Games championed the rights of disabled people to participate as equals in society. And the opening and closing ceremonies displayed the best of the UK's creative and design industries.[755] These aspects depicted the UK as "a nation that belongs alongside the other major countries on the world stage".[756]

277.  We received mixed evidence about the extent to which audiences overseas engaged with this depiction of the UK. UK Sport cited a recent study that explored international perceptions of 16 countries and their influence on the world before and after 2012: the UK saw the biggest increase in positive ratings, climbing to third place in the table.[757] More than two thirds of users of the BBC's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games website found that the BBC's coverage of the Games improved their perception of London and the UK, with more than 80 per cent of them saying they were interested in visiting London or the UK as a result, we were told.[758]

278.  However, Professor Anholt concluded that the Games did not improve the country's reputation internationally, because the UK's reputation "was already just about as good as it could be", and the Games were not capable of causing the UK to be "even temporarily more highly regarded than the United States".[759] Attitudes to countries are also deeply ingrained: the more familiar something is, the more difficult it is for attitudes towards it to shift.[760] But according to Professor Anholt, hosting the Games was "certainly a good thing for us to do", because "a reputation is not something you own but something you rent, and that rent must continue to be paid". By regularly carrying out operations such as hosting the Games, he said, the UK pays its "rent" and teaches the populations of emerging economies who are less familiar with the UK "that Britain is a rather special place and they should know something about it".[761]

279.  UK sporting, transport and security experts are now working alongside authorities in the next summer Games host nation, Brazil, and over 37 UK firms have won a total of £130 million through 62 sports contracts there.[762] A House of Lords Select Committee recently concluded that the UK can now "develop further its expertise and its reputation for delivering major events and providing a whole host of related services".[763] The Minister for Business and Enterprise at BIS, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, told us that the delivery of the 2012 Games had "opened almost every door" in Brazil.[764] Maria Miller MP reported that the Games had contributed to an increase in British inbound tourism.[765]

280.  Elite British sportsmen and women often have huge global followings, according to the British Council, enhancing the UK's recognition around the world.[766] While the UK is closely associated with Wimbledon, the British Open, Formula 1 (where eight of the 11 teams are based in the UK) and cricket, the global following of the Premier League in particular is "staggering".[767] Richard Scudamore told us that many surveys rank the Premier League alongside the monarchy and the BBC as "the most admired British institutions and the institutions that make people feel better about the UK", and pointed out that the League was ranked the first such institution in India and China.[768] The League broadcasts over 200,000 hours of coverage into 212 countries, generating £800 million per year in international revenue. Chelsea FC has supporters' club branches in Mongolia, Japan, Chile, Nigeria, Brazil, Singapore, Russia, Uzbekistan and Iran.[769]

281.  Sport contributes to British commercial success in other ways. David Collier, Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, described how including sporting teams on trade missions helped to open doors overseas, while Richard Scudamore argued that the League's involvement with such missions helped the Government "create a better feel, really, about the UK".[770]

282.  The UK's international sport development has "provided the basis for friendly collaboration and … generated good will towards the UK and its institutions". [771] The British Embassy in Kabul supported the development of Afghanistan's national football league to help reinforce a shared national identity, promote ties between communities and build Afghan confidence in the government and political process.[772] The Premier League has worked with police from Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta and Kolkata on social inclusion schemes. Richard Scudamore painted for us "A whole canvas … where we think we are making a positive contribution to how people view the UK".[773]

283.  The soft power benefits originating from sport convince us that now the London Olympic and Paralympic Games have concluded, the UK should work to find a way to retain the "glow" attached to British sport institutions.[774] The Government should use the status and attractiveness that the UK gained in 2012 to exert influence in sport and beyond, but should recognise that maintaining any soft power gains won from the Games could be a long-term and costly exercise.[775] UK Sport proposed that "There is a great opportunity for the FCO and UKTI to build on the relationships already established with Ministries of youth, sport, education and gender as well as with global fora, such as the Commonwealth Secretariat".[776] The need to capitalise on this opportunity is particularly urgent because in July and August of this year (2014), Glasgow will host the Commonwealth Games. We suggest that the Government continue to publicise the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games wherever possible—particularly through UKTI and the GREAT Campaign—while promoting the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In addition, UKTI should strongly promote the UK as a reserve of expertise in the design and delivery of megaprojects like the London 2012 Games and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[777]


284.  We have described in this Chapter the impressive array of soft power assets and opportunities for future development through which the UK can have a significant impact on the global scene, both in support of its own interests and those of the rest of the world. Like the Molière character[778] who had been speaking prose without knowing it, some of the elements in the British soft power scene might hitherto have gone unrecognised. They have been supported by hardworking individuals and organisations that perhaps did not realise their position on the front line of defence of the UK's overseas interests. Nor did they realise that the curtain had gone up on their activities, revealing a new and much bigger and more informed audience than ever before.

285.  The various attributes described above contribute to how the rest of the world views the UK. At its best, the country possesses a world-beating array of assets. It is seen variously as being on the right side of modern history; possessing benevolence; representing a force for good; being culturally attractive and a source of innovation, higher learning and human development; playing the role of a useful, well-connected nation; and positioning itself as an outward-looking and welcoming country with strong, identifiable values and a commitment to the rule of law.

286.  Many of the UK's assets have shown a willingness to combine forces in efforts to create a more attractive British presence overseas. The country's thick cobweb of long-standing, productive ties enables these attributes to add up to more than the sum of their parts. For instance, UK universities support commercial science, British scientific prestige brings in talent and investment, national museums contribute to international development, and the BBC gives support to museums.[779] Existing ties across the Commonwealth lay the ground for the overseas activities of UK business, culture and sporting institutions.

287.  Though soft power is an elusive commodity that defies being coerced to specific ends (see Chapter three), the Government must not be complacent. If they make the right decisions, the Government can build up and benefit from the UK's enormous wealth of soft power assets. But though soft power takes time and effort to accrue, just a few poor decisions can undermine it. 'Health within is health without'—in an age of hyper-connectivity, there are stronger links between domestic and foreign policy than at any time in the past.

226   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

227   Jonathan McClory. Back

228   British Academy. Back

229   Nye J. S. Jr. (2006) 'Think Again: Soft Power', Foreign Policy, February; Professor Nye, Q180. Back

230   Dr Jamie Gaskarth. Back

231   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

232   Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University. Back

233   Indra Adnan. Back

234   Professor Rawnsley. Back

235   Professor Rawnsley. Back

236   Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Back

237   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

238   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

239   British Council supplementary written evidence.  Back

240   Government written evidence. Back

241   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

242   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

243   Professor Nye, Q180; British Council. Back

244   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

245   Q180; Humanitarian Intervention Centre; Government written evidence. Back

246   Government written evidence. Back

247   Q180, Q178. Back

248   Professor Rawnsley. Back

249   Nicholas Beadle, Q42. Back

250   Dr Jamie Gaskarth. The Reports he referred to were: Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, First review of the National Security Strategy 2010 (1st Report, Session 2010-12, HL Paper 265, HC Paper 1384), pp18-19,; and House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee, Who Does UK National Strategy? Further Report (6th Report, Session 2010-12, HC Paper 713), para 7,  

251   Q356. Back

252   Dr Christina Rowley. Back

253   See Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

254   See VICTUS. Back

255   Indra Adnan. Back

256   Durham Global Security Institute; Henry Jackson Society. Back

257   Jack Straw MP. Back

258   Q368. Back

259   Dr Robin Niblett; Government written evidence. Back

260   Government written evidence. Back

261   See Hugo Swire MP, Q376. Back

262   British Council; Durham Global Security Institute; Government written evidence; Professor Kaldor; Research Councils UK. See also Warner M, (2013) 'An Exclusive Club: the Five Countries that Don't Spy on Each Other', PBS Newshour, 25 October,  

263   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

264   Q300. Back

265   The posts at Damascus and Tehran, both recorded as having no UK based FCO staff or UK based FCO staff recorded elsewhere, were both suspended at 31 December 2013. Back

266   Government (Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Foreign and Commonwealth Office) supplementary written evidence. Back

267   The Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons recently concluded that "There are signs that the FCO is being stretched, almost to the limit". House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, FCO performance and finances 2012-13 (6th Report, Session 2013-14, HC Paper 696),, p3. Back

268   See Hugo Swire MP, Q368; Sir John Major, Q356. Back

269   Hugo Swire MP, Q368; Sir John Major, Q356. Back

270   See House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, FCO performance and finances 2012-13 (6th Report, Session 2013-14, HC Paper 696); see also Hugo Swire MP, Q371. Back

271   Hugo Swire MP, Q368. Back

272   ProfessorRawnsley. Back

273   FCO (2013) 'Foreign Secretary Opens Foreign Office Language School', 19 September,  Back

274   Q361. Back

275   Q363. Back

276   Q363. Back

277   Professor Seib told us that the US State Department's digital outreach venture was hampered by slow responses in the digital forums in which State Department staff seek to engage with foreign publics due to staff members having to show their draft posts to colleagues (Professor Seib). Back

278   See Professor Rawnsley. Back

279   Dr Cristina Archetti; Professor Seib. See, for example, Tom Fletcher, HM Ambassador to Lebanon (2013) 'Dear Lebanon: An Open Letter', 21 November,; Lord Jay of Ewelme, Sir Antony Acland, Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Q297; Dr Ali Fisher. Back

280   Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics. Back

281   Dr James Pamment; Conrad Bird, Alex Aiken, Q317; Hugo Swire MP, Q372. The GREAT Campaign was established in September 2011, in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games (BBC News, 'London 2012: David Cameron Launches "Great" Campaign', 22 September 2011, According to the Government's briefing on the GREAT Campaign, its "aim is to get people from around the world to visit the UK and do business here". It focuses "on 11 areas of British excellence (Trade and Investment: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Technology, Knowledge, Green, Business. Tourism: Heritage, Sport, Shopping, Music, Countryside)". It is "a single campaign that brings together all our overseas activity to promote Great Britain under a common banner, so that Britain speaks with one voice … to gain more impact and make sure we are getting better value for taxpayers' money" (GREAT Britain Campaign, 'GREAT Britain. Questions and Answers').  Back

282   House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, FCO Public Diplomacy: the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 (2nd Report, Session 2010-11, HC Paper 581), Ev23. Back

283   Dr James Pamment. Back

284   Professor Gary Rawnsley; Dr James Pamment. Back

285   Hugo Swire MP, Q368. Back

286   Hugo Swire MP, Q368. Back

287   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

288   Q43, Q48. Back

289   Government written evidence. Back

290   Steve McCarthy, Q45, Q61; Lt General Simon Mayall, Q44. Back

291   Q49. Back

292   Q49. Back

293   Q62. Back

294   Q57. Back

295   Lt General Simon Mayall, Q43. Back

296   Lt General Simon Mayall, Q55, Q58. Back

297   Henry Jackson Society. Back

298   Government written evidence. Back

299   Q375; Government written evidence; Sir Roger Gifford, Q240. Back

300   Government written evidence. Back

301   Professor Nye, Q180; Professor Rawnsley; Durham Global Security Institute; Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q378. Back

302   Q180. Back

303   Q378. Back

304   Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q382. Back

305   Q55. Back

306   Durham Global Security Institute. Back

307   Q383. Back

308   Durham Global Security Institute. Back

309   MOD and FCO (2013) International Defence Engagement Strategy, See also Steve McCarthy, Lt General Simon Mayall, Q43; Steve McCarthy, Q48; Lt General Simon Mayall, Q49, Q50; Steve McCarthy, Q57, Q61; Government written evidence; Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

310   Durham Global Security Institute. Back

311   Richard Norton-Taylor. Back

312   Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q375; FCO, DFID, and MOD (2011) Building Stability Overseas Strategy,  Back

313   Lt General Simon Mayall, Q49; FCO (2013) Conflict Pool,  Back

314   Lt General Simon Mayall, Q60. Back

315   Q60. Back

316   Q54. Back

317   Q378. See also Government (Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for DFID) supplementary written evidence; Collinson S. And Elhawary S. (2012) Humanitarian Space: a Review of Trends and Issues, April,  

318   Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q379. Back

319   Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q379. Back

320   Q383. Back

321   VICTUS. Back

322   VICTUS. See House of Commons Defence Committee, Towards the Next Defence and Security Review, Part 1 (7th Report, Session 2013-14, HC Paper 197),; Professor Kaldor. Back

323   Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q377. Back

324   Q369. Back

325   Richard Norton-Taylor. Back

326   Adam Smith International. Back

327   Q197. Back

328   See British Council. Back

329   See note by the House of Commons Library (2013) The 0.7% Aid Target, June, Back

330   Adam Smith International. Back

331   Lord Hannay of Chiswick; see also Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Q307. Back

332   APPG on Global Health. Back

333   See Coyle A. (2009) A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management,, p3; International Centre for Prison Studies. Back

334   British Council. Back

335   BBC. Back

336   BBC. Back

337   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

338   See Professor Rawnsley. Back

339   Sir Jeremy Greenstock. See also Durham Global Security Institute; Henry Jackson Society. Back

340   See Jonathan Glennie, Q127. Back

341   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

342   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

343   APPG on Global Health. Back

344   International Alert. Back

345   BP. Back

346   Q235. See also David Stanley, Q235. Back

347   Q228. See also Sir Antony Acland, Lord Jay of Ewelme, Q301. Back

348   See Nick Baird, Q117. Back

349   See, for example, National Museum Directors' Council; Jack Straw MP; Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Q307; Steve McCarthy, Q54; Ian Birrell, Q138; Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Q379. Back

350   See Professor Rawnsley. Back

351   See BP; DFID (2014) DFID Drafts in UK Accountancy Skills to Boost International Development, 13 January,  Back

352   See Professor Rooney. Back

353   See Jonathan Glennie, Q148. Back

354   International Alert supplementary written evidence. Back

355   International Alert supplementary written evidence. Back

356   International Alert supplementary written evidence. Back

357   Professor Nye, Q179. Back

358   International Alert supplementary written evidence. Back

359   Jonathan McClory. Back

360   Jonathan McCory. Back

361   Jonathan McClory; Research Councils UK; UK Trade Facilitation; Demos; Uday Dholakia, Q93. Back

362   British Council; Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University; Jonathan Glennie, Q145. Back

363   Q28. Back

364   British Council supplementary written evidence; see also Raleigh International. Back

365   Government written evidence. See also Asia House; Wygene Chong; Sir Jeremy Greenstock; Sir John Major, Q343; Sir Peter Marshall; Professor Nye, Q176; UK Trade Facilitation; VisitBritain; Tara Sonenshine, Q36; Conrad Bird, Q328; Sir Martin Davidson, Q63; Professor Krige; Walpole British Luxury. Back

366   Government written evidence. Back

367   Government written evidence. Back

368   Q1. Back

369   Q230. Back

370   Government written evidence. Back

371   Government written evidence. Back

372   Government written evidence. Back

373   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

374   VisitBritain. Back

375   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

376   Government written evidence. Back

377   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

378   Q343. Back

379   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

380   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

381   Hugo Swire MP, Q376. Back

382   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK; Government (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) further supplementary written evidence. Back

383   Q376. Back

384   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

385   Lord Soley. Back

386   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

387   Welsh Government. Back

388   Jonathan McClory; see also Dr Robin Niblett; Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

389   Nye J. S. Jr. (2011) The Future of Power, p18.See also HMG, A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy, Cm 7953 October 2010,, p3, p4, p9, p15.  Back

390   See Dr Robin Niblett. Back

391   Jonathan McClory. Back

392   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

393   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

394   Q332. Back

395   Dr Robin Niblett; see also Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

396   Government written evidence. Back

397   Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Back

398   Indra Adnan; Lord Hannay of Chiswick. See also Miskimmon et al. (2013) op. cit., p2; p176. Professor Roselle suggested that one way to conceive of soft power was "as the ability to create consensus around shared meaning. If people believe, for example, that the promotion and protection of human rights is important, desirable, and right or proper, it is more difficult to legitimize actions perceived to be in conflict with that consensus". She underlined, however, that creating a "shared consensus … can be much more difficult than using hard power to force another to do something, but there is reason to believe that the results can be more lasting. Soft power resources may set the stage for shared understandings and this enhances other types of interactions, including opportunities in enterprise, and coordination of shared human goals such as the alleviation of human suffering". Back

399   Dr Christina Rowley proposed that soft power was structural, and as such was "the ability to set agendas, to frame issues, to determine discourse and narratives". She offered a challenge: "Does the UK wish to pursue soft power instrumentally and self-interestedly for its advantages over rivals (which … will most likely fail), or for the mutually beneficial relationships and 'growing together' of interests and agendas that occurs when co-operation is valued as an end in itself?". The Royal Commonwealth Society's submission made a similar argument. The Commonwealth, they proposed, was "an important venue in which member states can construct shared understandings on certain values and principles". As such, they suggested, the Commonwealth helped to uphold the values that member states agreed to be important and relevant in the modern world. Likewise, Lord Hannay of Chiswick wrote that "It should … be possible over time to strengthen the systems of democratic government, the rule of law, the freedom of the press and respect for human rights as common rules shared by all members of the Commonwealth and promoted by them more widely". Back

400   See British Council supplementary written evidence; Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics; ICAEW; Gilly Lord, Q218, Q221, Q223, Q228. Back

401   UK Trade Facilitation. Back

402   Adam Smith International; Asia House; British Academy; British Council; British Council supplementary written evidence; Demos; Research Councils UK; VICTUS. Back

403   Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Q299; Graham Mather (President, European Policy Forum), Ian Bond (Director of Foreign Policy, Centre for European Reform), Q175. Back

404   Asia House; Hugo Swire MP, Q374. Back

405   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

406   Henry Jackson Society. Back

407   See HM Government, 'UK Presidency of G8 2013',  Back

408   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

409   Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

410   Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

411   Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

412   Paul Arkwright (Director of Multilateral Policy, FCO), Q155. Back

413   See for example BBC (2009) 'Fiji Suspended From Commonwealth', 1 September,  Back

414   Baroness Prashar, Q154. Back

415   Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

416   Q355. Back

417   Q355. Back

418   Royal Commonwealth Society; Hugo Swire MP, Q374. Jim O'Neill's original acronym (BRICs) excluded any African nations; the BRIC countries began holding summits in 2006 and included South Africa from 2010 (making the BRICs the BRICS).  Back

419   Royal Commonwealth Society; Institute of Export. Back

420   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

421   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

422   Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

423   Hugo Swire MP, Q368. Back

424   QQ368-383. Back

425   Professor Nye, Q182; Hugo Swire MP, Q374. Back

426   Q374; Lord Hannay of Chiswick; Michael Fallon MP, Q342. Back

427   Adam Smith International; ICAEW; Royal Commonwealth Society. Back

428   Lord Hannay of Chiswick. See also Ian Bond, Q166. Back

429   Jonathan McClory. Back

430   Q353. Back

431   Q182. Back

432   European Economics and Financial Centre. Back

433   Q351. Back

434   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

435   Q352. Back

436   Q353. Back

437   Q353. Back

438   See European Commission, 'Youth Employment',  Back

439   British Council. Back

440   Walpole British Luxury; UK China Visa Alliance. Back

441   Walpole British Luxury. Back

442   Gilly Lord, Q218; City of London Corporation. Back

443   City of London Corporation. Back

444   Q222. Back

445   Q226.  Back

446   Q225. Back

447   Q218; British Academy; ICAEW; Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics. Back

448   Q221. Back

449   Gilly Lord, Q233. Back

450   Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Back

451   British Council; Sir Jeremy Greenstock; National Asian Business Association. Back

452   Humanitarian Intervention Centre. Back

453   Professor Cox, Q26; John Micklethwait, Q39; Wygene Chong; Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University; Dr Jamie Gaskarth; Gillespie and Webb; Government written evidence; Humanitarian Intervention Centre; Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics; Sir John Major, Q343; Professor Rawnsley; Royal Commonwealth Society; Lord Soley; Jack Straw MP; UK Trade Facilitation; Walpole British Luxury; Dr Cristina Archetti; Sir Martin Davidson, Q63; Sir Roger Gifford, Q236.  Back

454   Q236. Back

455   Sir Roger Gifford, Q239, Q242; Durham Global Security Institute; PACT. Back

456   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

457   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

458   British Council supplementary written evidence; Sir Roger Gifford, Q236. Back

459   Q99. Back

460   Sir Roger Gifford, Q236. Back

461   British Council supplementary written evidence; Sir Roger Gifford, Q236. Back

462   Professor Riordan, Q247. Back

463   Q220; see also John Dickie, Q246. Back

464   Q347. Back

465   Q221. See also Mark Pyman (Director, Defence and Security Programme, Transparency International UK), Q134, Q139, Q148. Back

466   Q165. Back

467   Walpole British Luxury. See also Professor Nye, Q178; Indra Adnan.  Back

468   British Council supplementary written evidence.  Back

469   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

470   See Stephen Pattison, David Stanley, Q229. Back

471   See Uday Dholakia, Q107; Michael Fallon MP, Q338, Q339. Back

472   Lord Mayor of London supplementary written evidence; Sir Roger Gifford, Q241; City of London Corporation. Back

473   City of London Corporation. Back

474   Sir Roger Gifford, Q243. Back

475   BBC. Back

476   BBC. Back

477   BBC. Back

478   PACT. Back

479   Peter Horrocks, Q68. Back

480   Government written evidence. Back

481   See Uday Dholakia, Q99; David Stanley, Q232; David Stanley, Dr John Barry, Q233; Richard Scudamore, Q285. Back

482   See Uday Dholakia, Q99; David Maisey (Director, Institute of Export), Peter Callaghan, Q105; David Stanley, Q232; David Stanley, Dr John Barry, Q233. Back

483   UK Trade Facilitation. Back

484   Hugo Swire MP, Q376. Back

485   See, for example, HM Government (2012) 'Prime Minister's CBI Speech', 19 November,; Cabinet Office and Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street (2013) 'Plan for Britain's Success: Speech by the Prime Minister', 10 June,; see also Hugo Swire MP, Q371. Back

486   Uday Dholakia, Q100; Peter Callaghan, Q101; Peter Callaghan, David Maisey, Q102; Uday Dholakia, Q103; David Maisey, Peter Callaghan, Q105; Peter Callaghan, Q106; Uday Dholakia, David Maisey, Q111. Back

487   Q100. Back

488   Q101. Back

489   Q120. Back

490   Q232. One submission suggested that the Government "should promote and do some of the marketing abroad for UK businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs do not have the resources and cannot afford the cost of travel to trade fairs in other countries. UK Embassies could introduce potential parties abroad who could partner with SMEs and do the marketing and sales on behalf of the UK SMEs in different countries abroad (on a commission basis)" (European Economics and Financial Centre). Back

491   Q232. Back

492   Q242. John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on 17 October 2013 that the German government in 2012 spent € 57 million on export support through German Chambers of Commerce. Back

493   Hugo Swire MP, Q371; Uday Dholakia, Q100. See also House of Lords Select Committee on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Roads to Success: SME Exports (Report of Session 2012-13, HL Paper 131),, p34; pp117-27. Back

494   Q371 Back

495   Q122. Back

496   House of Lords Select Committee on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Roads to Success: SME Exports (Report of Session 2012-13, HL Paper 131),, p34; pp117-27. Back

497   Peter Callaghan, David Maisey, Q102. Back

498   Peter Callaghan, Q101, Q102. Back

499   Hugo Swire MP, Q368. Back

500   Q376. Dr Andrew Murrison MP claimed that he did not recognise this "separateness", however (Q375). Back

501   Q375. Back

502   Q335. Back

503   See Andrew Mitchell, Q12; Government (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) supplementary written evidence; Government (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) further supplementary written evidence. Back

504   Dr Robin Brown's written evidence advised that "The growth of emerging powers creates new challenges for the UK. Firstly, there is the need to forge relationships where existing links are relatively weak in competition with other countries that see opportunities in the same regions. Secondly, emerging powers are building their own soft power assets, for instance universities, that can compete with those in the UK". Back

505   Michael Fallon MP, Q334, Q337. Back

506   Peter Callaghan, Q101. Back

507   VisitBritain; British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

508   VisitBritain; Blitz R. (2014) 'Foreign Visitors to UK Spend Record Amounts', Financial Times, 13 February 2014,  

509   'GREAT Britain' Campaign supplementary written evidence. Back

510   VisitBritain; House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, Keeping the Flame Alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (Report of Session 2013-14, HL Paper 78),, p16; p81. Back

511   Prynn J. (2014) 'It's Official: London is the Most Popular Destination for Tourists in the World', Evening Standard, 16 January, Back

512   VisitBritain. Back

513   British Museum; Dr Jonathan Williams, Q89. Back

514   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

515   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

516   VisitBritain. Back

517   VisitBritain. Back

518   John Micklethwait, Q41. Back

519   Q366. Back

520   Q270; Government (Home Office) supplementary written evidence. Back

521   British Council; David Blackie. Back

522   UUK and IU. Back

523   British Council supplementary written evidence; HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July,  Back

524   Q63; Professor Riordan, Q248.  Back

525   British Council; Professor Riordan Q259. Back

526   British Council; Richard Dowden; Professor Scott-Smith; Lord Hannay of Chiswick; UUK and IU. Back

527   Lord Williams of Baglan, Q28, Q32; Professor Michael Cox Q33. Back

528   HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July; Research Councils UK. Back

529   Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics. See also Professor Riordan, Q247. Back

530   Professor Riordan, Q247. Back

531   UUK and IU. Back

532   Agnès Poirier, Q214; Sir John Major, Q357. Back

533   Sir Martin Davidson, Q63; Professor Riordan, Q247; Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics; HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July; Independent Schools Council; Sir John Major, Q357. Back

534   Professor Riordan, Q247; Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics; HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July. UUK and IU cited a report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee published in March 2011 which listed 27 international heads of state at that time who had studied in the UK, many in UK universities, and an article by the Times Higher Education supplement in September 2013 highlighting 12 world leaders who had been educated at UK universities (UUK and IU). Back

535   Professor Riordan, Q247; Exporting Education UK; Independent Schools Council. For example, the Emir of Qatar was educated at Sherborne and Harrow in the UK (Independent Schools Council).  Back

536   UUK and IU. Back

537   Q33; Independent Schools Council. Back

538   Independent Schools Council. Back

539   HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July; Independent Schools Council. Back

540   Independent Schools Council: "ISC schools are developing 'daughter' schools overseas as a response to demand for high quality British education and values: Dulwich College (Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Seoul, Singapore), Harrow School (Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong), Haileybury (Almaty, Astana), Brighton College (Abu Dhabi, El Ain), ACS (Doha), Bromsgrove School (Bangkok), Epsom College (Malaysia), Malvern College (Qingdao), Marlborough College (Johor), North London Collegiate School (Jeju), Repton School (Dubai), Sherborne School (Qatar), Shrewsbury (Bangkok) and Wellington College (Tianjian, Shanghai)". Back

541   UUK and IU. Back

542   Government written evidence. Back

543   Government (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) further supplementary written evidence. Back

544   David Blackie. Back

545   See The Commonwealth of Learning website at:  Back

546   Exporting Education UK. Back

547   Asia House. Back

548   UUK and IU. Back

549   Government written evidence. Back

550   Government written evidence. Back

551   Association of Commonwealth Universities; see also Tara Sonenshine, Q360. Back

552   Association of Commonwealth Universities. Back

553   Association of Commonwealth Universities. Back

554   Q373. Back

555   Q373. Back

556   Association of Commonwealth Universities. Back

557   British Council; British Council supplementary written evidence; Centre for World Cinemas, University of Leeds and B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies; Ingenious Media; VisitBritain; Indra Adnan; British Academy; John Micklethwait, Q27; Lord Williams of Baglan, Professor Cox, Q30; Sir Martin Davidson, Q74, Q75. Back

558   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

559   Sir Martin Davidson Q76, Q89. Back

560   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

561   See Association of Commonwealth Universities. Back

562   Q373. Back

563   Q209. The Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon William Hague MP, committed in 2010 to cutting £10 million from the FCO's programme of scholarships for the 2010-11 financial year. HC Deb, 29 Jun 2010, col 37WS, Back

564   Durham Global Security Institute; Jonathan McClory, Q209. Back

565   See HM Government (2013) International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, July,  Back

566   UUK and IU. Back

567   Association of Commonwealth Universities. Back

568   British Academy. Back

569   Dr Robin Niblett; Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University. Back

570   Research Councils UK. Back

571   Government written evidence. Back

572   UUK and IU: "Forty-six per cent of UK-authored academic papers are co-authored with at least one non-UK researcher. This figure is higher than any of our major international competitors, bar France. Such international collaboration in research has a positive impact on the citation rate for that research. Internationally co-authored papers have a two-fold increase in citations compared to papers co-authored within an institution, significantly higher than the 1.4-fold increase seen for papers co-authored between researchers within one country". Back

573   Research Councils UK. Back

574   Research Councils UK.  Back

575   Research Councils UK. Back

576   Royal Society. Back

577   Maddalaine Ansell (Head of the International Knowledge and Innovation Unit (Global), BIS), Q6. Back

578   Royal Society. Back

579   APPG on Global Health. Back

580   Royal Society. Back

581   Royal Society. Back

582   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

583   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

584   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

585   Q236. Back

586   Richard Scudamore, Q285; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Back

587   Q219. Back

588   Q117; British Council. Back

589   'A Growing Number of Firms Worldwide are Adopting English as their Official Language', The Economist (2014) 15 February, p61. Back

590   British Council supplementary written evidence; Sir Martin Davidson, Q63.  Back

591   British Council further supplementary written evidence. Back

592   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

593   British Council further supplementary written evidence. Back

594   Research Councils UK.  Back

595   Q117. Back

596   British Council. Back

597   British Council further supplementary written evidence. Back

598   British Council further supplementary written evidence. The Council added "for example, our work has helped to double the business for Cambridge International Exams in Nigeria". Back

599   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

600   British Council supplementary written evidence; Government written evidence. Back

601   Gillespie and Webb. Back

602   Research Councils UK. Back

603   House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, FCO Performances and Finances 2011-12 (5th Report, Session 2012-13, HC Paper 690),  Back

604   Durham Global Security Institute. Back

605   Q209. Back

606   British Council further supplementary written evidence; David Blackie; Levant Education Consulting. Back

607   See David Blackie; British Council supplementary written evidence. See British Council, 'Annual Report, 2012-13', Back

608   Q94. Back

609   British Council supplementary written evidence; Dr Robin Niblett; Sir Roger Gifford, Q236. Back

610   Q285. Back

611   Sir Roger Gifford, Q236. Back

612   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

613   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

614   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

615   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

616   The changes included a cap (of 21,700 in 2011) on the number of economic migrants from outside the EU, with the aim of bringing net migration down to 100,000 people a year by 2015; a tightening of the points-based system for skilled workers including a requirement that immigrants have a job offer and minimum salary; reforms to family visas including minimum income levels for those sponsoring a family member and a requirement that the family member speak English; and a review of student visas designed to prevent abuse of the student visa system, including a tighter inspection system for sponsoring colleges, and the requirement that students find a job with a minimum salary of £20,000 should they wish to stay in the UK after completing their studies. See Rt Hon Theresa May MP (2012) 'An Immigration System that Works in the National Interest', 12 December, Back

617   See, for example, Keith Nichol, Maddalaine Ansell, Q16; Professor Cox, Q30; John Micklethwait, Q31, Q35, Q39, Q41; Lord Williams of Baglan, Q32, Q38; Sir Martin Davidson, Q83; Sir Martin Davidson, Dr Jonathan Williams, Q89; Uday Dholakia, Q107; Peter Callaghan, Uday Dholakia, Q115; Ian Birrell, Q129, Q132, Q143, Q144; Sir John Major, Q357. Back

618   See BBC News (2013) 'UK puts Brazil Visitor Visa Crackdown on Hold', 13 March,  Back

619   Q31. Back

620   Q246. Back

621   Walpole British Luxury; National Museum Directors' Council. Back

622   VisitBritain; see also Sir Martin Davidson, Dr Jonathan Williams, Q89. Back

623   British Embassy Doha (2013) New Visa Waiver Scheme for Qatar, Oman, the UAE and Kuwait, 12 November, Back

624   UK China Visa Alliance; UK China Visa Alliance supplementary written evidence; Graham Mather, Q167. Back

625   London First (2014) 'France's Fast-Track Chinese Visa is Direct Challenge to London', 16 January,  Back

626   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

627   John Morgan (2014) 'Overseas Student Total Falls "For First Time" as Indian Numbers Collapse', Times Higher Education, 16 January,  

628   UUK and IU. Back

629   Q32. Back

630   According to Professor Riordan, "This drop relates to the last year for which figures were available at the time of the [evidence] session (academic year 2011-12). It reflects figures for the number of non-EU new entrants to higher education in that year, as measured by the Higher Education Statistics Authority" (Q247). Back

631   Q247. Back

632   Richard Dowden. Back

633   Independent Schools Council. Back

634   UUK and IU. Back

635   Government (Home Office) supplementary written evidence.  Back

636   House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, 'Overseas Students and Net Migration' (4th Report, Session 2012-13, HC Paper 425),, p10. Back

637   Q272. Back

638   The Committees are: the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs (The Work of the UK Border Agency (December 2011-March 2012), 16 July 2012 and The Work of the UK Border Agency (April-June 2012), 31 October 2012); the House of Commons Select Committee on Public Accounts (Immigration: The Points Based System-Student Route, 12 July 2012); the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology (Higher Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, 17 July 2012); House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills (Overseas Students and Net Migration, 4 September 2012); the House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee F: Home Affairs, Health and Education (The EU's Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, 18 December 2012). The letter to the Prime Minister of 30 January 2013 can be found at Back

639   UUK and IU. Back

640   Walpole British Luxury; National Museum Directors' Council. Back

641   Royal Society. Back

642   Mary Rance, John Dickie, Q246; Professor Riordan, Q247; John Dickie, Q253; Mary Rance, Q254; Professor Rawnsley; UUK and IU; Walpole British Luxury; Agnès Poirier, Q214; Sir Martin Davidson, Q63, Q83; British Council; Professor Cox, Q30; John Micklethwait, Q31; Peter Callaghan, Uday Dholakia, Q115; Richard Scudamore, Q290; Keith Nichol, Maddalaine Ansell, Q16; HE Mr Carlos dos Santos, Q153. Back

643   Q107; see also UUK and IU. Back

644   The 'visa bond' was a planned 'security bond' for overseas visitors that the Home Office deemed to be at 'high risk' of remaining in the UK once their visas had expired. Under the scheme, visitors would have had to pay £3,000, to be returned to them at the end of their visit. See BBC News (2013) 'Visitor Bond Scheme to be Scrapped by Government', 3 November, 

645   Q83. Back

646   Q247. Back

647   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

648   Q31. Back

649   Jonathan McClory. Back

650   Q208. See BBC News (2013) '"Go Home" Vans: Liberty Targets Home Office Campaign', 6 August,; Q208. Back

651   Indra Adnan. Back

652   Holden J. (2013) Influence and Attraction: Culture and the race for soft power in the 21st century, for the British Council and Demos. Back

653   National Asian Business Association. Back

654   Government written evidence. Back

655   BBC. Back

656   Professor Sreberny. Back

657   Gillespie and Webb. The National Asian Business Association agreed that the British media were "key to utilising soft power and can boost trade links between the UK and abroad". Back

658   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

659   Q63. Back

660   Q33. Back

661   Q230. Back

662   National Asian Business Association. Back

663   Government (Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, FCO), supplementary written evidence. Back

664   See Lord Jay of Ewelme, Q293. Back

665   Indra Adnan. Back

666   British Council supplementary written evidence; British Council (2012) Trust Pays: How International Cultural Relationships Build Trust in the UK and Underpin the Success of the UK Economy,, p3. Back

667   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

668   Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University; Jack Straw MP; Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Q305; Professor Riordan, Q257; HE Mr Kim Traavik, Q189. Back

669   Gillespie and Webb; Derek Wyatt; Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Back

670   Lord Mayor of London supplementary written evidence. Back

671   British Council; British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

672   Dr Robin Niblett. Back

673   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

674   Maria Miller MP, Q338. Back

675   British Council. Back

676   British Council. Back

677   British Council; Gillespie and Webb. Back

678   Holden J. (2013) Influence and Attraction: Culture and the race for soft power in the 21st century, for the British Council and Demos. Back

679   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

680   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

681   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

682   Sir Martin Davidson, Q88; Dr Jonathan Williams, Q88. Back

683   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

684   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

685   British Museum; Dr Jonathan Williams, Q82. Back

686   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

687   National Museum Directors' Council; British Museum. Back

688   British Museum; Dr Jonathan Williams, Q85. Back

689   British Museum; Jack Straw MP; Government written evidence. Back

690   British Museum. Back

691   British Academy. Back

692   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

693   Museums Association (2013) Cuts Survey 2013, October, Back

694   DCMS (2013) British Museum Spending Round Letter, July,  Back

695   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

696   Dr Jonathan Williams, Q85; Maria Miller MP, Q329; Government written evidence. Back

697   See National Museum Directors' Council. Back

698   British Council supplementary written evidence; Government written evidence; Humanitarian Intervention Centre; Sir John Major, Q343; Professor Sreberny. Back

699   British Council supplementary written evidence; Professor Sreberny. Back

700   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

701   Ingenious Media. Back

702   Sir John Major, Q343; Centre for World Cinemas, University of Leeds and B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies. Back

703   Sir John Major, Q343; British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

704   Ingenious Media. Back

705   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

706   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

707   Q215. Back

708   Q90. Back

709   Ingenious Media;  Back

710   Ingenious Media. Back

711   See Stephen Pattison, Q221. Back

712   BBC. Back

713   BBC. Back

714   BBC. Back

715   BBC. Back

716   The BBC's international services include: the BBC World Service ("the world's leading international multimedia broadcaster providing impartial news and analysis in English and 27 other languages"), which reaches 192 million people around the world; BBC World News, a commercially-funded TV channel;, which alongside delivers news, business, features and analysis, and which saw more than 1 billion page views in a single month in 2013; and BBC Worldwide, the BBC's main commercial arm which develops brands and licenses merchandise, and operates TV and digital services including 44 channels available in over 406 million households across the world. The first three of these (the BBC World Service, BBC World News and together reach 170 countries, with a weekly audience of over a quarter of a billion people-one in every 28 people (BBC;  Back

717   Gillespie and Webb; Richard Dowden. Back

718   BBC. Back

719   BBC. Back

720   BBC. Back

721   BBC. Back

722   Dr Iginio Gagliardone. Back

723   Peter Horrocks, Q64. Back

724   BBC. Back

725   BBC. Back

726   BBC Media Centre (2013) Record Audience Figures as Quarter of a Billion People Tune Into BBC's Global News Services, 25 June,  Back

727   BBC. Back

728   BBC. Back

729   Q67. Back

730   BBC. Back

731   BBC. Back

732   BBC. Back

733   BBC. Back

734   See BBC News (2013) BBC World Service in government funding cut, 11 June. Back

735   Q209. Back

736   Gillespie and Webb. Back

737   Professor Rawnsley. Back

738   Q176. Back

739   See Dr Daniel Arthur, International Policy Dynamics; Henry Jackson Society; Dr Robin Niblett; Lord Hannay of Chiswick. Back

740   BBC World Service (2013) A Licence Fee Funded Service, June,, p11. Back

741   Hugo Swire MP, Q380. Back

742   Q357. Back

743   Q381. Back

744   On 18 December 2013, the BBC Trust agreed that, from 1 April 2014, "a limited amount of advertising and sponsored content that is not news and current affairs could be broadcast on BBC World Service" BBC Trust (2013) Minutes of the BBC Trust Meeting, 18 December,  Back

745   BBC Trust (2013) Minutes of the BBC Trust Meeting, 18 December, Back

746   The 2010 Spending Review placed a 16 per cent savings target on the World Service by April 2014 (when grant-in-aid funding comes to an end), amounting to an annual saving of £46 million. Back

747   Q39. Back

748   Q24. Back

749   Lord Williams of Baglan, Q28; Sir John Major, Q343. Back

750   Professor Rawnsley. Back

751   British Council supplementary written evidence; Lord Moynihan, Q276. Back

752   UK Sport. Back

753   Richard Scudamore, Q277. Back

754   UK Sport. Back

755   Richard Scudamore, Q284; Centre for World Cinemas, University of Leeds and B-Film: The Birmingham Centre for Film Studies; Professor Cox, Q40; Ingenious Media; PACT.  Back

756   UK Sport; Government written evidence; VisitBritain.  Back

757   UK Sport; BBC (2013) BBC poll: Germany most popular country in the world, 23 May,  Back

758   BBC. Back

759   Q205. Back

760   Professor Anholt supplementary written evidence. Back

761   Q205. Back

762   Government written evidence. Back

763   House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, Keeping the Flame Alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (Report of Session 2013-14, HL Paper 78),, p54. Back

764   Q334. Back

765   Q341. Back

766   British Council supplementary written evidence. Back

767   British Council supplementary written evidence; Sir Martin Davidson, Q63; Richard Scudamore, Q277. Back

768   Q291. Back

769   Richard Scudamore, Q275, Q277; British Council supplementary written evidence; VisitBritain. Back

770   David Collier, Q274, Q282; Richard Scudamore, Q275. Back

771   UK Sport; Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies, Coventry University. Back

772   Government written evidence. Back

773   Q275. Back

774   UK Sport. Back

775   Professor Anholt, Q205; see also Professor Anholt supplementary written evidence. Back

776   UK Sport. Back

777   See Government written evidence; Nick Baird, Q117; House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, Keeping the Flame Alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (Report of Session 2013-14, HL Paper 78),, pp16-17. 

778   'Molière' (1952) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Cambridge: Pitt Press Series, pp21-22. Back

779   National Museum Directors' Council. Back

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