Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt is preparing for a massive expansion of the country’s diplomatic network, with more than 1,000 extra staff at home and abroad, as part of a review of its global ambitions for the post-Brexit era. The plans include a new embassy in Djibouti.
The move reflects concerns that the British government needs to address instability there, following the seizure in February by Djibouti of the Red Sea container port Doraleh from DP World. The tiny east African state has rejected a London court ruling that barred Djibouti from considering DP World’s pact terminated.
Mr Hunt will set out an ambitious plan for Britain become an “invisible chain that links the world’s democracies” in a speech at the Policy Exchange think tank on Wednesday.
“The strength of our network is its professionalism, which has given us what I believe is the finest diplomatic service in the world. But we must never close our eyes to the approaches and skills of other industries.”
Mr Hunt is proposing the largest creation of new postings in a generation, confirming 12 new diplomatic outposts and nearly 1,000 more personnel, include 335 overseas posts, 328 London-based roles and 329 locally engaged staff.
There will also be a new mission to the headquarters of the Association of South-East Asian Nations in Jakarta, and the British Office in Chad will be upgraded to a full embassy.
Mr Hunt will set out the global challenges facing western societies, and highlight the role that Britain can play post-Brexit to help solve them.