Many countries see major opportunities with ‘Global Britain’ according to new report
A new report from the UK in a Changing Europe and the School of Security Studies at King’s College London reveals that while some states regret Brexit, most find there are strategic advantages to be gained from the UK. Uni and its “World Britain” program.
The report, ‘Global Britain: Perspectives from Abroad‘, featured academics and doctoral students in security studies each covering views from 13 different countries on ‘Global Britain’.
He found that the two superpowers – China and the United States – see the fewest opportunities in “Global Britain”. Washington already views the UK as like-minded, and “World Britain” will receive little attention in the US except when it conflicts with its interests. One of the UK’s main advantages in its dealings with the US – acting as a bridge to the EU – has been lost due to Brexit. The UK risks being seen by the US as an interested but more vital party in EU affairs, the equivalent of Norway or Canada.
China’s view of “World Britain” is not friendly, seeing it as confirmation that it stands on the side of the United States in a new Cold War between Washington and Beijing. China believes that a “Britain in decline” lacks the capacity to become an influential player in the Indo-Pacific region and that “Global Britain” is more rhetoric than reality.
Germany’s attitude towards “World Britain” is fundamentally shaped by the Brexit process. He has less confidence in the UK as a partner and fears that bilateral security cooperation will be used to undermine the unity of the EU. Berlin is very skeptical of a “world Britain” which, for ideological reasons, does not want to cooperate with the EU.
However, France sees major new opportunities in a “Global Britain”. The UK’s rhetoric seems bolder, and the promotion of universal values in the Comprehensive Review is consistent with the country’s approach to international relations. London and Paris have many common interests and could, perhaps because of Brexit, find common ground for closer cooperation. Brexit offers France a new avenue of cooperation where EU action fails.
Two key tenets of “World Britain” – the emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region and adherence to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – have long dominated Japanese political thought and could the basis for a “significant improvement” in relations between the United Kingdom and Japan.
The report identifies growing potential for UK-India partnerships in trade, science and security, but finds that this could be compromised if the UK does not grant more visas for Indian professionals. The UK’s increasingly icy relationship with China has improved India’s prospects for engagement with the UK as a strategic partner. The UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific, as noted in the Integrated Review, is an opportunity for India to build a collective alliance in this region of significant geopolitical concern.
In Brazil, there are hopes of closer economic ties with the UK, stemming from a Brazilian sense of injustice towards the protectionist tendencies of the EU.
The US disengagement from the Gulf gives “World Britain” many opportunities to strengthen security and trade ties “east of Suez”. But “Global Britain” has imperialist overtones, which is anathema to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Professor Anand Menon, Director, UK in a Changing Europe, said:
“What emerges from the report is a complicated mix of constraints and opportunities. The UK needs to know what other countries are looking for if it is to make the most of the opportunities offered by Global Britain. “
Dr David Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Department of Defense Studies, King’s College London, said:
“Whatever the government wants Global Britain to say, it is clear that its foreign policy agenda will only be successful if it understands and addresses the diverse and sometimes conflicting interests of other states in a rapidly changing world.”