May 19, 2024
Foreign Policy and the New Global Britain
Europe will always occupy a place in British strategic thinking. However, the declining continent is no longer the world’s economic and geopolitical cockpit.
Europe will always occupy a place in British strategic thinking. However, the declining continent is no longer the world’s economic and geopolitical cockpit.

‘To govern’, the French Prime Minister Pierre Mendès France wrote, after defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, ‘is to choose’. France eventually chose De Gaulle and a new republican constitution. After the Brexit referendum of 2016, a divided parliament, like the French Fourth Republic, chose indecision. The clarifying election of December 2019 changed all that, but beyond leaving the European Union and redefining its relationship with Europe the Johnson government faces a number of hard choices. Some, like the high-speed train linking London to the North are of a domestic nature, others, like the roll out of 5 G broadband, not only affect UK infrastructure they also have geostrategic resonance.

Britain evidently needs a foreign policy geared to its long-term national interests in a rapidly changing world no longer en route to a liberal democratic end of history. This has become more urgent in the wake of Brexit. Unlike the interminable process of ever closer European Union, 31 January 2020 marked a seminal political event.[1] The event, however, needs a coherent strategy to govern what follows from it. Since 2016, various alternatives to European Union have emerged that no one had considered while the EU set the economic and fiscal rules and its single regulatory mechanism governed trade and labour movement within the Union and free trade negotiations with external trading partners outside it.Policy now must not only consider the economic dimension of Brexit, but also how economic and geopolitical interests are linked in an interconnected, but far from integrated, world. The agenda has implications for Global Britain’s reinvention not only in Europe, but also East of Suez.

One of the hard choices the new Johnson government made in 2020 permitted the PRC linked telco Huawei access to up to 35 per cent of the ‘non-core peripheral parts’ of UK telecom networks. To avoid delaying the installation of 5G across the UK, the government chose a quick economic fix over long term strategy. Significantly, the US President Donald Trump, his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, the Australian government, which prevents the Chinese telco access to its broadband, Johnson’s own defence minister, Ben Wallace, Chinese dissident artist, Ai Wei Wei and even Justin Trudeau all deplored the decision.

[Interesting Read]

See Also:

(1) Italy closes all non-essential business as rest of Europe hunkers down amid worsening coronavirus outbreak

(2) The Catastrophe in Italy

(3) Macron’s France SEIZES Lorries Carrying 130,000 Masks to British Hospitals

(4) Coronavirus: China’s Propaganda Campaign in Europe

(5) EU fears: Bloc on brink of worst-ever recession as VDL breaks rules to save economy

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