Wed, 7 July 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Hard Choices – What Britain Does Next

Jack Straw Meets Peter Ricketts

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How can we prosper in a world more dangerous than ever? Join the former foreign secretary and one of Britain’s most experienced diplomats for lessons for an uncertain future.

After decades of peace and prosperity, the international order put in place after World War II is rapidly coming to an end. Disastrous foreign wars, global recession, the meteoric rise of China and India and the COVID pandemic have undermined the power of the West’s international institutions and unleashed the forces of nationalism and protectionism.

In conversation with former foreign secretary Jack Straw, one of Britain’s most respected and experienced senior diplomats, Peter Ricketts, who served as Permanent Secretary to the Foreign Office and a wealth of other senior positions in government, will highlight the key dilemmas Britain faces, from trade to security, arguing that international co-operation and solidarity are the surest ways to prosper in a world more dangerous than ever.

Praise for Peter Ricketts’ Hard Choices:

‘A bracing, stimulating, utterly timely call for the UK to take a very hard look at its place in the world post-Brexit and after Covid. Peter Ricketts tells us we have nothing to lose but our illusions. He’s right.’ – Peter Hennessy, author of Winds of Change

‘No one is more able than Peter Ricketts by experience and wisdom, to set out clearly and sensibly the broad parameters of Britain’s strategy in the age of Brexit, pandemic, climate change and the threats to liberal democracies from China. A sensible Government would implement these proposals with enthusiasm straight away.’ – Chris Patten, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and former Governor of Hong Kong

‘A candid and sometimes brutal sizing up of past mistakes, of chances missed and of opportunities still open. This dissection of British strategic choices by the UK’s first National Security Adviser and one of our most experienced diplomats reveals not just the inside story of how we got here but what it will feel like to be in the room when the hard choices have to be made.’- Professor Sir David Omand, former director of GCHQ

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Peter Ricketts

Diplomat and Peer

Peter Ricketts has been at the heart of Britain’s foreign policy for more than 30 years. He was Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, UK Permanent Representative to NATO, Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Office and Ambassador to France. He has written for the FT, The Times, New Statesman and Prospect, and regularly appears on Sky News and the BBC.

Jack Straw

Former Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary

Jack Straw was born in Buckhurst Hill in 1946. Brought up in Loughton, he studied law at Leeds University and practised criminal law before becoming an MP in 1971. He served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons during Tony Blair’s premiership and Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor under Gordon Brown.