High Commissioners' Christmas Reception

The Rt Hon the Baroness Chalker of Wallasey spoke about post Brexit: it will mean a lot of business opportunities across the Commonwealth. On 1st January 1973 UK joined the European Community.  She believes we still want a working relationship. "We have to make the Commonwealth sing". 

Among members and friends present were High Commissioners from Guyana, Kenya, Seychelles, and Tanzania. The Ambassador of Angola and a Somaliland diplomat were also present. 

Lord Howell of Guildford recalled when in 1995, 22 years ago, the Commonwealth was referred to as “a platform for the future”. However not much progress had been made until last summer when there was dramatic change and The Commonwealth is now seen in a different light. The odyssey hasn't ended because the Brexit story brings the Commonwealth to a new level, as a gateway and “transmission engine for soft power”. Many more civil servants are now working on the Commonwealth, more than ten-fold have been employed. “Old links, new ties” is now quoted by the PM as “Old partnerships, new ties”. It has become the people’s Commonwealth in a crowd-funded world.  There is a new international landscape: “the Commonwealth is the mother of networks and presents an oasis of challenges”