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UK to recruit 1,000 more diplomatic staff to maintain international clout after Brexit, Jeremy Hunt to announce


Jeremy Hunt will vow to recruit 1,000 extra diplomatic employees and increase their language expertise, as he fights warnings that Brexit will weaken Britain’s worldwide clout.

In a serious speech, the overseas secretary will promise “the largest growth of Britain’s diplomatic community for a era”, opening new embassies in Africa and South East Asia.

There may also be a doubling of diplomats who converse the native language to 1,000, Mr Hunt will say – and a rise within the variety of languages the Foreign Office teaches, from 50 to 70.

The transfer follows warnings that leaving the EU will inevitably diminish Britain’s influence. One former head of the diplomatic service stated different international locations believed the UK had “misplaced the plot”.

The Overseas Workplace has additionally been criticised for earlier plans to hollow out embassies around the world, in an effort to fund diplomatic posts in Europe.

Now Mr Hunt, appointed in July, will insist the fears are misplaced, insisting the UK after Brexit will be an “invisible chain that hyperlinks the world’s democracies”.

And he’ll argue its position can be badly wanted, when “our democratic values are arguably underneath higher menace than at any time because the fall of the Berlin Wall”

Mr Hunt will say: “Our community of friendships is unparalleled. However they’re underpinned by one thing greater than shared historical past, shared language or shared tradition.

“They’re underpinned by the values – democracy, the rule of regulation, the separation of powers, respect for particular person civil and political rights, a perception in free commerce – that bind us.

“When these values are underneath menace, Britain’s position – certainly obligation – is to defend them. Which is why to take action, we should grow to be an invisible chain linking the world’s democracies.”

The promise of a “community of friendships” comes after Mr Hunt’s gaffe, on the Tory celebration convention, when he likened the EU to “a jail” within the Soviet Union.

Donald Tusk, the European Council president, accused him of “insulting” individuals who survived the horrors of communism and there have been requires him to resign.

In the meantime, Theresa Could’s promise to attain a brand new “International Britain” exterior the EU has been branded “mushy considering” and only a “slogan”.

In February, Sir Simon Fraser, the previous Overseas Workplace everlasting under-secretary, instructed MPs: “Quite a lot of international locations assume, in the intervening time, that we’ve barely misplaced the plot by way of the place we intend to go.”

However, in his speech to the Coverage Change think-tank on Wednesday night, Mr Hunt will affirm plans for 12 new diplomatic positions overseas, along with practically 1,000 additional personnel.

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They’ll embody 335 diplomatic posts abroad, 328 new roles in London, and 329 new “regionally engaged” employees, he’ll say.

A brand new embassy will open in Dijibouti, in East Africa, the British Workplace in Chad can be upgraded to a full embassy and a mission will open on the headquarters of the Affiliation of South-East Asian Nations, in Indonesia.

The 20 additional languages the Overseas Workplace will educate will range from the Central Asian tongues of Kazakh and Kyrgyz, to Shona in Zimbabwe and Gujarati in India. 


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