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Chris served as the last British Governor of Hong Kong, negotiating the handover to China. He was then appointed EU Commissioner for External Relations. He believes the newly enlarged Europe with its half a billion citizens can exert huge influence, and argues for transatlantic differences to be set aside in pursuit of multilateralism.
Since leaving Parliament, Chris Patten has held a variety of positions during periods of volatility and fundamental change. He served as the last Governor of Hong Kong, EU Commissioner for External Relations, and Chair of the Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland before his appointments as Chancellor of Oxford University and the Chairman of the BBC Trust.
Chris started his career as director of the Conservative research department. Elected MP for Bath, he quickly rose through the ranks to Leader of the House, Arts Minister, and Secretary of State for Social Services. He then took over the environment brief before becoming Chairman, steering the party to General Election victory at the cost of his own seat.
When John Major dispatched him to Hong Kong, Chris earned the respect of both British and Chinese communities for his management of the handover. He published East & West soon afterwards, documenting his time as Governor, the negotiations with China and her relationships with the rest of the world.
In his subsequent book, Not Quite the Diplomat, Chris argues for transatlantic differences to be set aside in pursuit of multilateral interests. He believes that the enlarged European Union, with its half a billion citizens, can exert a much more powerful influence. He is also the author of What Next? Surviving the Twenty-First Century, and First Confession: A Sort of Memoir.
Chris is the Chancellor of Oxford University, and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was made a Companion of Honour and a life peer.
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Lord Patten Interviewed by the Late Sir David Frost