On Tuesday, North Wiltshire MP James Gray asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs to provide an update on the Government’s vital Arctic Strategy during Oral Questions for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Before the debate, Mr Gray said:
“As Chair of the APPG for the Polar Regions, I have witnessed first-hand the impact climate change has on the Arctic and Antarctic as well as around the globe. It is therefore vital that we strengthen our contribution to Arctic science and environmental protection.”
In the House of Commons Chamber, Mr Gray further pressed:
“Central to our battle against climate change must be our relations with the Arctic countries and the Arctic circle in general. I understand that the Foreign Office Arctic policy update document is ready to be published. Can the Minister update the House about when that document will be published and perhaps even about what might be in it?”
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Vicky Ford MP, responded that:
“My hon. Friend is a true supporter of the Arctic region. Several of the Arctic states have published new Arctic strategies. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Asia and the Middle East, who is the Minister responsible, was able on her visit to the region very recently to talk about the UK’s intention to publish a UK Arctic policy. We are looking forward to publishing a refreshed UK Arctic policy later this year. That will be an evolution of the existing framework, which is called ‘Beyond the Ice’.”