On 16 May 2022, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) produced its first International Development Strategy. This commentary explores the geographies of the strategy in more depth, highlighting three key areas: firstly, the dominance of a ‘UK approach’; secondly, its focus on country and bilateral programmes; and, finally, the rise of diplomatic, commercial and technological spaces for development. The commentary concludes that this development strategy produces an imaginary of a more isolationist, independent, sovereign Britain, with development used as a vehicle for a geographical nationalistic re-branding. These geographical imaginaries are used to legitimise aid to a domestic audience and to enhance Britain's position in the development sector. This emphasis in turn asks further questions about governmental thinking on development – importantly, what is lost, neglected and dismissed through this focus on a ‘distinct UK approach’?