You will quite possibly be reading this as we are still mid General Election campaign – and I write this not as a Member of Parliament, as it is dissolved until after June 8th, but as a candidate. You will hear much over the coming weeks about what lays ahead for our country domestically, but it is also more important than ever how we interact with countries overseas. A new Parliament is bound to take a big interest in foreign policy.

Candidates from all parties around the country are setting out their programmes, but for those who reach Parliament, the next few years of foreign affairs will be as absorbing as any in recent years, and will demand more of their attention than perhaps might be considered usual.

For some decades our foreign policy has been anchored in the two obvious and deep relationships of the EU and the U.S. But both these establishments have been shaken by recent events, and our foreign policy will need to be re-calibrated over the next five years. We will be post a Brexit referendum decision until 2019, but not yet post Brexit itself. It will be a fascinating period for the continent and our relations with it, including those in the number of security, defence and intelligence arrangements which are outside EU structures. Similarly we are also coming to terms, after a hundred plus days, with what a Trump Presidency means in practice.

President Trump, having had a number of world leaders head to Washington, is embarking on his first foreign visits. He has chosen to kick off with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican before coming to Europe for a NATO and a Group of Seven summit. If his mantra before becoming President was ‘Make America Great Again', his current one appears to be 'This is not as easy as I thought it was going to be'. Whilst revising opinion in the face of fact or greater knowledge is always welcome, some of his discoveries are startling and rather add to the sense of lack of preparedness to take on the role in the first place. This compounds the problem for allies such as the UK - and its Parliament - to keep up.

The recent chemical attack in Syria, and the response from the USA, has somewhat gone against the Presidents’ initial comments on ‘not being the world’s policemen’ but equally the action does not yet make policy, and we will wait and see what transpires.

As an eternal optimist on the Middle East Peace Process I am pleased that seeking the resolution of matters between Israel and the Palestinians appears high on the agenda both in the US and at home where it has been an issue of immense interest in Parliament for decades.  Though domestic Israeli and Palestinian politics offer little sign of change many good people continue to work on the process, and we can have hope that it is not being put to one side.

And of course there is Europe for the new Commons to get into. With the Dutch, French and German elections this year, there has been much discussion. More than anything it points to the need for negotiations to succeed for the sake of both the UK and the EU, as both need ultimately to be strengthened by Brexit rather than weakened. 

And we haven't even mentioned North Korea, China and the wider world! Some hard work ahead for the Class of ’17.