Rehman Chishti MP chaired the annual lunch with Rt Hon Priti Patel MP and panel of speakers: Ambassadors of Switzerland, Bahrain, Portugal and Peru, Carl Hunter and Simon Kuper with stirring debates on Global Britain topics.
The CFCC was honoured to have Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, the previous Secretary of State for International Development, as the lead speaker for the annual Carlton Club lunch. As a key figure in the Leave campaign, Priti provided an insight into her views on how the Brexit deal should look, being openly critical of May’s “chequers proposal,” which she feels not to deliver on the mandate provided in the 2016 referendum due to its half-hearted nature. Optimistically, Priti spoke about the possibility of a deal based more in line with the Tory belief in free trade, such as that proposed by the Institute of Economic Affairs, which withdraws sovereignty from the EU whilst ensuring a “global Britain”; one which maintains strong trade partnerships with other nations, is welcoming to foreign talent, and has an active role in international affairs. Priti also talked about the importance of the current era of Conservative politicians creating a positive legacy for the party by not giving into the demands made by European diplomats and achieving the strongest possible deal, even if it ends up with a no-deal scenario whereby the UK leaves on World Trade Organisation terms.
Following Priti Patel’s address, a panel of speakers, which included Ambassadors of Switzerland, Bahrain, Portugal and Peru, each gave talks on their nation’s relationship with the UK. All speakers spoke positively about Britain, talking of the willingness for their nations to create further links and strengthen existing trade deals with us, whilst the Ambassador of Bahrain spoke about the 200 years of ties between Bahrain and the UK since the Treaty of Friendship made in 1816.
The panel also included Simon Kuper, a writer for the Financial Times, who gave an invaluable insight into the three main possible outcomes of Brexit and their impact on British politics and the Tory party. Furthermore, Carl Hunter, the CEO of the international company Coltraco Ultrasonics which creates technologies aimed at improving shipping safety, gave a compelling speech about the importance of Britain’s remaining “positive about the future we have ahead of us outside of the EU."