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Overseas Operations (Financing)

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

15. What recent assessment he has made of the financing of his Department’s overseas operations; and if he will make a statement. (325364)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my written statement of 10 February, in which I made it clear that I have agreed a package of measures with the Treasury to offset the foreign exchange pressures on the FCO budget in the year ahead and allow us to continue to deliver a world-class and comprehensive diplomatic service.

At this stage of my political career, may I drop any ritual references to the Government’s overall difficulties with economic management or their shedding of the overseas pricing mechanism, which has given rise to these difficulties? Let us concentrate on the main point. Does the Foreign Secretary accept that Members on both sides of the House want this country to have a first-class foreign service representation and will not tolerate any deviation from that?