Joly meets with new British counterpart after political sea change in the U.K.


Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly met with her new British counterpart Monday for the first time since the Labour Party took power in the United Kingdom last week.

She is the first foreign minister to be invited to meet with David Lammy in London since his recent appointment as U.K. secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs.

The massive shift in the country’s political landscape saw the Conservative government ousted after 14 years in power.

“Few partnerships can match the U.K.’s unique relationship with Canada,” Lammy said in a social media post on Monday.

“By reconnecting with key allies, we will deliver security and prosperity at home and abroad.”

The political change in Britain has revived some hopes in Canada for a free-trade deal with the U.K.

Joly’s office said ahead of her meeting that the two were expected to discuss ways to “deepen bilateral relations” between the countries.

“We discussed the ways in which we can strengthen our partnership and how our countries can continue to work together to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” the minister said in a post on X after her meeting with Lammy.

A readout from Global Affairs Canada said Joly and Lammy “agreed to seize opportunities to address common geopolitical threats and uphold human rights and international law.”

It said the two discussed financial and military support for Ukraine, as well as “security concerns” in the Middle East.

In London, Joly also met with Patricia Scotland, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, and expressed Canada’s commitment to the community of countries connected to Britain ahead of a leaders’ summit planned for October in Samoa.

Joly is expected to join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the NATO leaders’ summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2024.

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