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Former Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox argued in favour of other solutions to help poorer nations around the world besides foreign aid. While speaking on BBC Question Time, Ms Fox argued there could be a simple post-Brexit solution. She insisted with no tariffs for certain countries, the UK and the other nations could benefit economically.
This comes after Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the UK would be reducing its foreign aid budget from 0.7 to 0.5 percent of the country’s Gross National Income (GNI)
The Government has faced some criticism for this as the total figure of aid would have gone down due to the impact coronavirus has had on the economy.
Ms Fox said: “If we really want to do something, I think we should have no tariffs on chocolate coming from parts of Africa.
“In post-Brexit Britain, there are all sorts of ways to do things.
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“In other words, I believe in more trade, not aid, so we encourage development rather than treating people as if they are going to have crumbs off the table of aid.
“We have to be careful because aid is quite contentious, it is very political, aid NGOs are like a big business, they are like multinationals a lot of them, they are huge.
“It is not just straightforwardly going to the global poor so I want to be able to query that.
“I want to at least be able to ask questions, to have a complicated and sophisticated conversation without people thinking you want to kill off the global poor.”
Ms Fox added she was pleased about some efforts the UK has already made on becoming global Britain.
She said: “I do like the fact that there has been this attempt at saying that vaccinations will be shared.
“I thought one of the great things about the Oxford AstraZeneca thing was that vaccinations would go to those countries.
“So don’t just see it as aid, this is because there is a slightly patronising aspect to that.
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“In the sense that if we think the only way the global poor can ever stop being poor is if we give them handouts, usually with political strings by the way.
“I would be having a bigger conversation about aid, not about being little Britain and helping people out.
“It is about being appropriate with what you do in terms of global poverty.”
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