At a logistical level, a few things will change. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will lead the new department, losing the post of the Secretary of State for International Development, and its budget will combine the DFID & FCO budgets. Aid spending will remain at 0.7 per cent of gross national income, but the Foreign Secretary will be “empowered to make decisions on aid spending in line with the UK’s priorities overseas”, a statement from Downing Street said. Johnson’s officials also made clear that the current review of UK foreign policy will look again at redefining what counts as aid.
For too long, Johnson said, UK aid spending has "been treated as some giant cashpoint in the sky that arrives without any reference to UK interests" – referring to British diplomatic and commercial priorities – and this too will now change. As a result, the merger will have serious consequences for where the aid budget is spent and the effectiveness of it, and more worryingly, for the world’s poorest people.