Priti Patel’s intention to use aid money to promote UK trade may not be legal
Date: 1 August 2016
Responding to news that Priti Patel, the recently appointed Secretary for International Development, was intending to use the UK’s aid budget to promote a new round of trade deals between the UK and other countries, Aisha Dodwell from campaign group Global Justice Now said:
“If Priti Patel is planning to use the UK aid budget to develop post-Brexit trade deals, it’s not only worrying, it could also be violating the International Development Act. This legislation from 2002 enshrines in law the principle that aid money can only be spent for the purpose of poverty reduction, so using aid money to further the UK’s trade agenda could be illegal unless the primary motivation is that of combatting poverty.
“Regardless of the legality of such a move, Priti Patel’s aid strategy is veering dangerously towards subsidies and support for big business rather than to addressing the conditions of extreme poverty and inequality that are found in many parts of the world. Since taking up her new post, thousands of people have emailed Priti Patel and called on her to make sure the aid budget isn’t used on projects that primarily aim to promote the UK’s national or trading interests and instead address the structural causes of poverty and inequality. This announcement shows that she has been ignoring them.”
Global Justice Now are consulting with lawyers about the possibility of making a legal challenge to the use of aid money to promote UK trade deals.
Read the Global Justice Now briefing – 0.7% on aid:a small contribution towards justice and equality
Take action and email Priti Patel as to how you think aid should be spent.
Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office