Standing in the world
Many influential commentators have observed that Brexit – both the fact of EU Exit and the way in which it was conducted – has had a deleterious effect on the reputation of the UK around the world. The common theme appears to be unease as to how Brexit can be reconciled with any perception of the UK as an outward-facing, collaborative country, which can aspire to be an influential player in a rules-based world order. For example:
- Sir Simon Fraser, Deputy Chairman of Chatham House (and previously Perm Sec FCO) wrote in September 2020 that "The claim that leaving the EU would open a highway to British global influence was always hollow. Since 2016, the UK's influence has declined; our forces are barely present in international theatres of conflict and… the Brexit soap opera undermines our diplomacy and soft power."
- Earlier this month, Michel Barnier said "The United Kingdom needs to pay attention to its reputation, I want Mr Johnson to respect his signature."
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