BACK in 2016, we were promised a future as Global Britain. In the North-East, we desperately need good access to export markets for the many goods produced in our region. We really need policies which will project our country on the global stage in a positive light.

In his Spending Review statement, made to the House of Commons last Wednesday, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that there would be a cut to our foreign aid spending, dropping from 0.7 per cent of the nation’s GDP to 0.5 per cent.

This will cause a lot of unnecessary suffering, pain and death is the simple answer. To put some flesh on that it will mean that there will be a £4bn cut in aid for the world’s poorest.

Andrew Mitchell, Tory development minister under David Cameron, has described this as a “massacre” of the aid budget, a massacre which will have many victims.

These will include nearly a million girls who will be deprived of an education. It will include four million people being deprived of clean drinking water.

Perhaps worst of all, especially during a pandemic, it will mean 5.6m fewer children getting vaccinations, leading to as many as 100,000 avoidable deaths.

On top of the unnecessary deaths, we will lose respect and influence in the world and it will be harder for us to strike the trade deals we desperately need as a country and especially in a region like the North-East, which is a major exporting region. We really do need the UK to have a good image across the world.

This doesn’t look like the Global Britain we were promised after the EU referendum in 2016.

Peter Sagar, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.