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I'm not commenting on the substantive merits of the proposal which the article recommends, but I do think that it downplays how significant if would be for: "top down change...from a coordinated effort of LGBT friendly governments, such as the UK, who have appeared reluctant to commit to a zero tolerance policy towards LGBT discrimination in certain influential, non-LGBT friendly jurisdictions".

As the author correctly highlights, laws such as the Bribery Act 2010 have extraterritorial effect, but such a robust approach is exceptionally rare. Many of us are realists: life is about power, who has it, and who doesn't. While it would be lovely to change the world, firms' primary interests are in their profits, and governments' primary interests lie in their re-election; with the latter usually rewarding national economic success.

This article is actually an argument for a 'moral foreign policy'. We have been here before: and while many of us believed it back in the 1990's, we're rather more jaded now. As one of the academic papers in that Google search concludes:

"Although it has become popular to talk about a blurring of domestic and foreign, and the emergence of a post-sovereign state is important not to take this argument too far. Aspirationally and rhetorically, Western countries may subscribe to a non-territorial conception of rights and duties, and envision a state whose interests lie in promoting universal values across borders. Yet…these universals have not generally dislodged the primacy of national economic and geopolitical interests. Far from the borderless world envisaged by hyperglobalists, territorial borders would appear to continue to enframe economic and geostrategic interests, and centrally guide Western states’ foreign policy actions."

Rightly or wrongly, most UK voters don't care about poor, brown, foreign, or gay people, rather they're selfish and out for themselves and their own families. Observable metrics prove this: websites track interest in stories about distant tragedies, and 'people like us' invariably are worth more in terms of clicks, ad revenue, etc. than stories about ’out groups’, however tragic.

There may or may not be merits to an argument that the government should 'weaponise' UK companies to impose our view of morality on the world, but if we want to make that argument, I submit that we should be up-front and blunt about how significant it is. We've tried imposed our will via military means - I served in Iraq and Afghanistan before retraining as a solicitor - and it doesn't work. We've tried imposing our will on Africa with conditions and governance requirements tied to aid donations etc. and we're been outbid by China which has no scruples (

We should assess carefully whether we want to try to impose our will on the world at the expense of the commercial success of our legal industry (or any other industry for that matter).

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