15:52 GMT +317 November 2018
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    UK to Include Private Sector Employees in Over 1,000 New Diplomatic Positions

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    Britain will follow in America's footsteps by appointing ambassadors from the private sector instead of civil servants, Jeremy Hunt plans to announce on Wednesday.

    Britain's foreign secretary will argue at a Policy Exchange think tank meeting that the UK should not close its eyes to the business sector and announce plans to inject 1,000 new staff into Britain's diplomatic services, including 335 new overseas diplomatic staff, 328 staff in London and 329 "new locally engaged staff" based abroad, Politics Home reported

    FM Hunt wishes to overhaul Britain's diplomatic services as it concludes Brexit negotiations and leaves the European Union in March 2019. 

    Mr. Hunt will state that "the strength of our network is its professionalism, which has given us what I believe is the finest diplomatic service in the world" and that the UK government should not close its eyes "to the approaches and skills of other industries." 

    "Our network of friendships is unparalleled" and "are underpinned by something more than shared history, shared language or shared culture," he will say. 

    "They are underpinned by the values — democracy, the rule of law, the separation of powers, respect for individual civil and political rights, a belief in free trade — that bind us" and that "when these values are under threat, Britain's role — indeed obligation — is to defend them." 

    Jeremy Hunt will also argue that Western nations "must become an invisible chain linking the world's democracies."  

    The UK has typically appointed experienced civil services to diplomatic posts, but will shift some positions to experienced private sector officials for the first time.  

    Across the Atlantic, US officials can choose anyone deemed qualified, with Senate approval.

    US president Donald Trump appointed New York Jets football team owner Woody Johnson as London ambassador last year. Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson also served as CEO of ExxonMobil in 2006, with numerous executive roles in the company since 1989.  

    US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster served as a partner of Warburg Pincus LLC, a New York-based elite investment firm, and additionally as the executive vice president of Salesforce.com and The Asia Foundation's vice chairman

    The Growing Role of the Private Sector in UK Politics

    The UK Cabinet Office plans to involve the private sector so that businesses can raise capital for overseas projects, removing budgetary constraints from government balance sheets.  

    UK secretary of state for international development Penny Mordaunt began wooing for-profit entities in September in a speech to London-based global investment firm CDC, arguing that Britain must "close the resource gap to deliver the UN Global Goals" in order to make British "citizens stronger and more financially secure."  

     But a 2018 Department for International Development (DFID) report indicated that the UK government began shifting more bilateral official development assistance (ODA) expenses to the private sector as part of its 2018 Aid Strategy, doing so to meet multilateral ODA obligations contributed annually to institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. 

    UK Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary John Manzoni, who has over 30 years of private sector experience including 24 years with British Petroleum (BP), was appointed in 2014 and advocated more private sector involvement to tackle phases of the Brexit process last year. 

    Manzoni stated that Britain is "going to need to use all the resources that [the UK Public Accounts Committee] can supply us" and that he would test many "frameworks, access to consultants, partnerships with big strategic suppliers".

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    Tags:
    government, public sector, private sector, Brexit, Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), UK Department for International Development, John Manzoni, Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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