A UK foreign policy with the rest of the world

Once out of the EU the UK will have more influence worldwide. We will regain our voice and votes on international bodies where the EU currently represents us. We will be able to work more closely with natural allies like Australia and New Zealand, and the wider Commonwealth.

The government has stated its wish to become a pioneer of free trade worldwide, and has found a welcome at the World Trade Organisation now we are converting our membership back to full voting membership. There are ready allies that will see the UK as a good ally giving them more influence on world issues. They will want early Free Trade Agreements with the UK.
The UK as a member of world standards bodies will be able to do more to promote better exchanges of services, which bring with them better understanding between peoples and countries. Collaborating more in the arts of peace and a mutually beneficial commerce could help the world politically as well.

We will remain an important member of NATO, making the largest financial contribution after the USA and supplying essential military capability to the common defence and to the peace keeping and peace making expeditions the Alliance will wish to undertake. The UK will continue to be a leader in global intelligence. working closely with the USA on counter terrorism and related matters.

I would like us to learn from the difficult experiences we have gone through with our Middle Eastern involvements. If the UK wants to have serious influence in the Middle East it needs to spend more time and resource on people with the languages and cultural and political understandings needed. My main take away from Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria is there needs to be more political work and less military intervention by the west. It is difficult bombing terrorist groups of fanatics into submission given their mobility, the difficulty of identifying them and the impact your actions can have on recruitment.

Thea UK can also do good work in promoting wider global advances. The UK for example can be a leader in promoting animal welfare, in tackling modern slavery and promoting the English language as a medium for cultural as well as commercial exchange.

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74 Comments

  1. David Price
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    In this pioneering of unilateral free trade and the subsequent sell off of any remaining intellectual, commercial and physical assets by the city barrow boys, what exactly is in this for the common man?

    • acorn
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Nothing David. Brexit will have no effect on the top 5% of the UK, basically the metropolitan elite and their tethered Westminster politicians. The rest of the top two quintiles, the upper and lower middle class that is; will suffer much pain in the rectal area; but, sadly, will still be dumb enough to vote for the party that caused their pain. At their dinner parties, they will worry about house prices and why everything imported in Waitrose has become so expensive.

      The lower quintiles, particularly the bottom two, will be well and truly screwed; they, will get very very angry. The UK will need a much larger police force to corral and control the bottom two quintiles within their public housing estates.

      • David Price
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 4:47 am | Permalink

        The EU is no answer, it never was, it enforces a captive market and facilitates the take over by German and French concerns of UK assets. Brexit would at least level the field for all the vultures.

        My concern is the focus on London and the city and financial services at the cost of everywhere and everything else. Where is the striving to excel at education, training and infrastructure to go with the charge for free trade. Why must we be the beacon – unless it directly benefits the majority and not just the blessed few in the City and Westminster?

  2. Posted August 24, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Silly fantasies. Country after country, from NZ to Australia to India to Canada and most of all Trump’s America, has made clear that it is the giant market of the EU that matters to them. They care nothing for a UK that has turned its back on the world, and that is why we hear so little of Messrs Fox and Johnson in recent months. Brexit = irrelevance

    Reply Not true

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink
      • Richard1
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        whats the point here? He has simply said he hopes to do an EU deal even before March 2019 when the UK becomes free to do one. I doubt v much that will happen given the EU’s agricultural protectionism, but the implication of you and the Guardian that a UK-Australia deal would be contingent upon a prior EU-Australia deal is clearly incorrect based on what Mr Turnbull has said. read it again.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        …..and we now believe what the Guardian has to say..are they still around …last I heard they continue to beg for donations due to readership decline?

        Unfortunately, like the BBC, they have fallen upon their own self-serving negative narrative petard….they no longer have a voice that is viewed with meaningful integrity!

        • Bob
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          ” I heard they continue to beg for donations due to readership decline”

          How about a new law whereby anyone who reads a newspaper needs to buy a Newspaper Licence with the proceeds going to support the Guardian?

          The current TV Licence already indirectly supports the Guardian by way of BBC recruitment ads and the £2,500 per week the the BBC spends on buying it (80,000 copies a year).

          • hefner
            Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            What about the thousands of copies of the Daily Mail, Times, FT freely available in most UK airports and BA planes? The i is sometimes available but much less frequently. I have never seen The Guardian.

          • Bob
            Posted August 25, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            @hefner

            And your point is??

          • hefner
            Posted August 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            If, as you claim, the current TV licence supports the Guardian, why aren’t you also angry at all the ideology freely distributed in planes and airports. If these newspapers are provided for free, it is because their usual readers actually indirectly pay for those copies.

    • NickC
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Londoner, Of course the EU’s single market “matters” to the rest of the world and to the UK. The real question is, does it matter enough to give up our independence?

      It is irrational to maintain that the UK benefits from being run by the EU government when the ultimate aim is that we will disappear as a discernible state. “We” cannot gain when “we” don’t exist anymore.

      The rest of the world doesn’t believe that independence is worth relinquishing for the mere promise of greater wealth either. That is why countries have struggled for their independence throughout history. The UK has decided to follow suit. We are actually re-joining the rest of the world.

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Here is the independence you talk about: British political parties received a record £40m of donations in the three months before the election, with the Conservatives bringing in more than twice as much cash as Labour.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Dear Nick–And not just our Independence by any means–We pay a hugely disproportionate fortune in plain and simple cash for whatever we get, which remainiacs somehow pretend doesn’t happen

        • getahead
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          And which. according to most estimates, is more expensive than WTO tariffs.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      of all remain attitudes i find this the most odd. Are all countries which aren’t part of the EU “irrelevant” – Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Korea etc? How big does a country have to be before it can be an independent democracy? Is it only the US which can be independent and should all other democracies join some supra-national block so as to be more ‘relevant’? Pls explain.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    All sensible stuff, “once we get out of the EU”. But will we ever properly get out of the EU under socialst ex (?) remainer May. Also will we ever get some sensible low tax, pro growth, cheap energy, smaller government, bonfire of red tape polices for this allegely Conservative government.

    She (and Hammond) do not insprire any confidence whatsoever. Even Gove has gone daft with his vat of school fees and daft electric car agenda. But then one would not expect an English student to have grasp the engineering and physics of electric vehices. With current technology electric are less green not more and use more energy per mile when all is considered properly. Totally impractical too for most people too (other than perhaps as a very expensive second, virtue signally, city car for a few rich people).

    • NickC
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Absolutely correct. Every indication from this government is that they don’t know how to negotiate with the continental mindset. What “we” see as compromise the continentals see as weakness. We, and they, never learn about this cultural difference it seems.

      We cannot have an independent foreign policy, or an independent trade policy, where we are still beholden to the EU in some way. We voted for independence. Transition deals, payments to the EU, ECJ rulings over the UK, fishing grounds giveaways, etc, are out.

      What is so difficult for the government, and the Remains, to understand that our relationship with the EU must be one of equals in law; and that the UK must be as independent of the EU as any one of the other 164 countries in the world?

  4. formula57
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Whilst “I would like us to learn from the difficult experiences we have gone through with our Middle Eastern involvements” that alas is not apparently to the extent of avoiding entanglement in NATO adventurism given your unsupported assertion that “We will remain an important member of NATO”. And just why will the UK be “making the largest financial contribution after the USA”?

    • forthurst
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      It is not hard to imagine that the “diffcult experiences” of the ‘West’ are as nothing to the difficult experiences suffered by the recipients of our attention. I’m thinking of deliberate destruction of infrastructure, deliberate murder of civilians by high explosives, deliberate murder of civilians by Western backed head-loppers etc.

      NATO is obsolete; the Bolshevik Empire finally collapsed and Russia is now run by Slavic nationalists rather than globalist Asiatics. However, there is an organisation, the Committee on Foreign Relations staffed by carpet-chewing neocons, which, ignoring NATO’s title or purpose, use it to promote their own globalist agenda. We need to resign from NATO and pursue our own foreign policy which largely should consist of defending our interests and keeping our noses out of other peoples’ business.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Fothurst,Marxism-Leninism is very much a European,not an Asiatic,creed;it was the product of German-Jewish intellectuals.The fact that it was first practiced in Russia and China (where economic and social conditions were not supposed to be suitable-there had been no bourgeois revolution which was considered a prerequisite for the establishment of socialism)is a quirk of fate,facilitated by the absence of institutions to resist the revolutionaries when their respective absolutist empires collapsed.

        You may have noticed that both Russia and China have since returned to nationalistic Asiatic modes of governance whilst much of the internationalist Marxist/socialist agenda has been quietly implemented in the west-Lenin and Macauley (not to be confused with Lennon and McCartney!) are from the same philosophical root.

        The nationalists running Russian policy are better described as Eurasianist or neo-Eurasianist.Russia has never,even in it’s earliest beginnings,been an exclusively Slavic nation.”Scratch a Russian and you’ll find a Tartar”as Napoleon said.

        Your point that NATO is obsolete is,however,correct.

        • forthurst
          Posted August 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          I referred to the government not the Russian Federation which is as you say.

          • Mitchel
            Posted August 26, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            The governing circle in Russia has many non-Slavs :eg Putin’s chief of staff-Anton Vaino (Latvian),FM-Sergey Lavrov(Armenian father,Georgian raised mother),Defence Minister-Sergey Shoygu(half Tuvan-Mongol),Head of Armed Forces-Valery Gerasimov (Tartar).In addition the woman who runs RT (Margarita Simonyan) is Armenian (both sides of her family escapees from the Ottoman genocide) and leading cultural export Valery Gergiev (Ossetian-a Russified Iranian people from the Caucasus).

            All the above are intensely Russian however!I remember years ago some commentator saying that Russian was best understood not as a nationalty,race or ethnicity but as a civilisation.I think that is the best way to look at it.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Providing we can get through BREXIT quickly without being hamstrung by EU policies, and we can retain sensible government, then yes, it should be possible for Britain to become the common sense world leader in so many things.

    Diplomacy failed us in the ME, and that’s what we need to enhance, for our very survival alone, but first we need to be very certain about what is Britain about, before we can export our views.

    There are so many in this country that have no concept of what a great country we could become, they are so in to the idea that we must be a small fish in a big pond – they consider us as a country to be losers, and that mentality will get us nowhere – it needs to be purged from our collective psyche.

    So, let’s get our own strong identity together, then we can make the world a better place!

  6. margaret
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    All good points.

  7. A different Simon
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    On my new personal computer the default home page of a browser was MSN.com , i.e. Microsoft news .

    Regardless of political persuasion or views on membership of the EU , all British people should be offended by the relentless anti-British and anti-Britain bias and attacks on the British P.M. by outsiders .

    A customs union which attempts to impose punitive tariffs on outsiders in order to protect it’s own inefficient industries and over bloated lifestyle has no long term future !

    Tariffs which put African and South American farming at a disadvantage and try to keep those countries from developing are immoral and also short-termist .

    The world of EU supporters and liberal elites and media has got so bogged down with Brexit that it has failed to see the bigger picture .

    I hope the rest of the world will not be so quick to forgive them .

    • MikeW
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Exactly and in times long gone it was called the ‘woolen laws’ and ‘cattle laws’ etc etc all put together in time of empire to protect the fat cats of english commerce..exactly a bloated lifestyle that has no long term future..and we should know, some of us, we have been there before.

  8. Prigger
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    “…natural allies Australia and New Zealand…” The Labour Party seems to have collared a number of NHS workers. Bad news for any of them wishing to emigrate. Which country in the world relishes a bolshie set of health workers jumping up on picket lines and chanting aged 35 years old plus, like teenagers at a new boyband concert? So we are stuck with placard waving please “dont make me leave for Australia ” senior nurses when despite our prayers they will just not get out of our Country.

  9. Bert Young
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Re-engaging with the world on our terms is a state of dignity we have missed while under the umbrella of the EU . It is an initiative of real value to our culture , our manufacturers and our service providers . This new found state of pride should work from the very top right down to the lowest level of citizen . Enthusiasm for this sort of change will drive us to more success and an entirely different sense of freedom .
    Brexit is a new fresh air for us all to breathe in and enjoy . Bring it on !.

  10. Prigger
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “The UK … tackling modern slavery …” Yorkshire regional newspapers have to explain to us Yorkies in greater detail than otherwise, no not because we are slow, it is that we see foreigners here in large groups operating slavery networks that we had not seen previously for more than a hundred and fifty years. Some of us wonder what more treats of diversity will
    come on the next Hull Ferry from Rotterdam to enrich our Northern culture.

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    In the Middle East where I worked for 20 years and my wife worked for the British Council I can assure you that English is the preferred language for business and leisure.
    The main problem is the tendency for military intervention when the people neither understand or want western style democracy.
    We have delegated diplomacy and trade policy to Brussels and are sidelined in favour of France and Germany.
    The sooner we are free from the clutches of this protectionist entity the better.
    Are we or aren’t we shedding the ECJ or not in 2019.

  12. agricola
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    You probably cannot bomb the Taliban et al into complete submission, but by doing so you can limit their activity. As I said yesterday, cut them off from their income stream. One contributor implied that there were so many western vested interests with their fingers in the income stream that neither the USA nor the UK would do it. If there is a grain of truth in this it needs to be dealt with.

    As you imply, being a sovereign state again will be like a breath of fresh air, opening many doors both political and commercial. There are many negative stories flying around in relation to Brexit. A vacuum of real news is providing a feeding ground for those with a vested interest. Fishing might be bargained away, the ECJ might still hold legal sway in the UK, etc. It is time for the Brexit team and Mrs May to re-state our objectives and red lines. Sovereignty is an absolute not a pick and mix counter.

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately we are already fighting a real war with fanatics who are effectively believers in a “death cult”. They have declared war on us and have carried out many effective terrorist attacks on British soil, including bombing little girls at a concert a few days after the BBC broadcasted the last of their “Three Girls” series about the child abuse in Rochdale.

    If we want to “win” we must take the war to the terrorists by bombing them and their leadership whenever we can, we need to cut off their sources of funding, we need better intel from within the groups and we must deal with their safe havens in neighbouring countries. If we liquidate them faster than they can be recruited, ultimately we will prevail. I’m not sure that we can negotiate with these people, they are not rational.

    We cannot defeat these people by being nice to them. Regardless of which shifting faction they give alliegance to, it follows that if they want to die for their god, we should assist them in their desire.

  14. Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    If the UK wants to have serious influence in the Middle East it needs to spend more time and resource on people with the languages and cultural and political understandings needed. My main take away from Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria is there needs to be more political work and less military intervention by the west.

    No ! What I think we should do is leave them alone ! They have their way of life and we should not be seeking to impose ours upon them. This moral and self righteous superiority, a sort of after shock from Empire, has no place in the modern world. Let their mistakes be their’s and the lessons learnt from them. Help them if asked, otherwise, leave them alone.

    I see the UK, long term, become a very powerful nation in world circles. Out of the EU we will once more be taken seriously. Even the likes of Germany and France will want to beat a path to Number 10 as they have no say inside the negotiation room and will want the UK onside. This will not so much give us the fabled influence so lauded by Europhiles, but real power.

    We have a bright future.

  15. Russ Brown
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Putin has demonstrated he wants to play the Great Game, so we do probably have to keep NATO as much as I detest it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      The Great Game was/is in Asia;NATO is supposed to be a North Atlantic mutual defence organisation.

  16. James Neill
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    All very aspirational JR but not based in the real world. The Empire is gone now and we are not going to bring it back by calling it the Commonwealth. Since 1973, when we did the dirt on Aus and NZ, when we turned our backs on them, they along with India and the other old empire countries have all moved along and formed new relationships with countries in their own regions. And that is the way the world has drifted since.

    Regionalism is the new way forward for countries to trade, it no longer makes sense to be bringing mutton and wool from Aus when we can source it more closely to home. What with the shipping costs, the warehousing and other considerations like time of travel, the same with butter from NZ, it makes little sense.

    So what is Regionalism? well for a start the EU and Canada are now going to form a new trade pact that seems to me will develop in time into something much more special, and together with say Russia, with it’s vast amounts of raw materials and minerals, when the politics of that country is sorted out sufficiently, we could be looking at the basis for a new european expanded trading bloc possibly called- the ‘Northern Hemisphere Trading Bloc’ NHTB for short- so now who’s being aspiritional?

    What then for UK?- As things look we are soon to become a third country to the eyes of the EU, which means we will have to live up to the standards of that bloc, and pay in to it without having any say whatsoever in decision making- and it’s too late now, A50 has been activated, but i feel we are surely looking the wrong way.

    reply Contradictions to savour here – trade will be regional, yet the EU will create a trading bloc for half the world! Australia and NZ are very keen to rebuild relationships as soon as we are out.

  17. Man of Kent
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Many years ago now, before the Common Market, I was taught that British foreign policy was based on :

    – holding the balance of power in Europe .
    – trading with the rest of the world
    – keeping trade routes open
    – remaining close to and friendly with the USA.

    Names have changed but the policy is much the same.
    But we now give far too much credence to supra national bodies eg UN and IPCC + EU on green solutions to non-existent problems .
    These to establish a tax base for a world government to tell us what we can[not] do .

  18. Man of Kent
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    With the 2nd Test Match v WI due to start tomorrow would it not be more sensible use of the Aid budget to help WI improve their pitches and facilities at home ?

    These look very run down and decrepit .

    Unfortunately the management seems to be of a low order .
    But better than some governments we support !

  19. Russ Brown
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    If we had Rees Mog as our leader I would feel more confident than ever we will have a principled, but not naive, foreign policy. He had said some wise things.

  20. bigneil
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Our policy with the rest of the world at the moment seems to be – -come here, do nothing, and stick your hands out – get a free life on the taxpayer ( whose services are being cut ).

  21. Tabulazero
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The UK wants to find back its voice in world affairs ?

    That is a good thing because the utter silence from the Foreign Office under Boris Johnson has simply been staggering.

    Please name from the top of your head any kind of global initiative led by the UK outside the Brexit negotiations lately ? Ukraine… nothing. Poland… nothing. Refugee crisis… nothing. Terrorism… nothing. G20… nothing.

    But why do you think abandoning your influence in Europe is meant to enhance the UK’s position when it comes to Foreign affairs ?

    On the contrary, I would argue that the UK was a far more useful partner when it still had an ability to shape debate within the European Union.

    Brexit remains a splendid vote for isolation.

    Reply Nonsense. The UK is becoming a voice for free trade worldwide and has started negotiations with US, Australia, NZ etc, and is leading the world movement against modern slavery. How is the EU’s Ukraine policy going?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      As good as your negotiations with Brussels, Mr Redwood.

      • NickC
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        So how good are your negotiations going with the UK, then, Tabulazero?

        • Tabulazero
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Do you want to take a bet on what Barnier will report at the end of October ?

      • Bob
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Negotiating with the EU is a bit like trying to negotiate with a committee made up from 27 members, each with their own vested interests and objectives.

        Very difficult.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Dear Zero–Utter hogwash–How could you possibly believe that being drowned out 27 to one in a bureaucratic overly legalistic multilingual foreign expensive and failing talking shop was working well? Even on trade we have to pay more than commensurately for any benefit, which of course remainiacs never mention. It was all madness. Te Deum laudamus.

    • John
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Silence from Boris? You seem to know his name, a Foreign Secretary of a the UK.

      Tell me what impact Federica Mogherini, which by the way is the EU’s equivalent.

      I would hazard a guess that more people in the EU have heard of Boris than of Federica.

      More people in the World will have listened to and read media reports of what Boris has said at various diplomatic meetings than they have from Federica.

      In fact, tell me any impact your EU Foreign High Representative has had now or ever including her predecessors? Like something that made news in the last 20 years?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Reply. What does Boris Johnson £ 9 million to the libyan government when the EU and Macron as an alternative initiated peace negotiations at the Elysees last month?

        • John
          Posted August 25, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          The UK and other countries have hosted peace talks there as well and the EU and UK have send many millions in aid. Note that Macron, a national leader, hosted the talks you mention not Federica. You only mention two names there, Macron and Boris. That’s because they are people who matter, I couldn’t tell you what Federica’s views are but we paying for some very expensive hotel bills for her.

      • hefner
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        I agree that Boris is likely to be better known than Federica Mogherini. But is it for his talent as Foreign Secretary, or as a clown stuck on a zip wire?

        • hefner
          Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          Was the rendition of the British national anthem by the Lybian army band on par with Boris’s performance?

  22. Mitchel
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Our host’s penultimate paragraph is very laudable;there is however a problem in that the great Eurasian powers(Russia,China,Iran) are in alignment for the first time since the peak of the Mongol Empire and are seeking Eurasian solutions to Eurasian problems,to the exclusion of the West.They are also drawing into their orbit the likes of India,Turkey and Pakistan through their evolving economic and defence structures.

    The game has changed.The old order has crumbled and seeking to revive it risks entering the Thucydides Trap.

  23. Ungoutedly
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Despite a reduction in immigration being a government objective and much wept about by the media for consistently not being realised , our media sees an actual reduction now as a problem …caused…by Brexit which, the media is still unaware has not happened yet. TV news is as irritating as gout ( another consequence of Brexit )

  24. Thomas Sharpe
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    On our cultural impact, is it sensible to cut back or eliminate the British Council’s activities in countries other than those to which we give aid., as is reported to be planned.
    The sums involved are quite small. I am quiet prepared to believe that the BC could be run more efficiently but to create an arbitrary rule, which probably owes more to the equally arbitrary 0.7% GDP aid budget than any intrinsic merit, seems short-sighted and silly at a time when we are being accused of being inward-looking and dismissive of all and foreign sundry.

  25. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The nation, the government and its people must change the longstanding mindset that we need to look to others to make the best of our present and our future.

    It is time we rediscovered self-reliance and self-belief. If we can get out of the clutches of the EU we should equally get out of the clutches of the US.

    And to those economists and politicians who are in awe of The City, attempt to imagine that we don’t have such an entity or that it may decline. Develop a policy where we make physical things again as a first priority, under home ownership not foreign, and stop the greedy spivs selling off everything they can lay their soft skinned moisturised hands on.

  26. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    John

    Is it really realistic to think that we are going to have more overall influence on our own as a medium sized European power in decline compared to the developing world (in terms of growth)whilst outside a trading block of 450 million people. The NATO involvement we have with or without the EU, please explain?

    Reply Yes of course we will. We will not have to agree a common line with 27 other countries and then put up with the EU Commission misrepresenting us

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      We are the worlds 5th or 6th largest economic power (depending how you calculate).
      We are a nuclear power and have an independent seat on the UBN security council.
      We are the centre of the Anglophile world and leaders of the Commonwealth.
      Of course we have influence and that is a commodity the EU is going to lose.

      • hefner
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        For standard of living, the GDP PPP per capita for the U.K. is according to:
        IMF. 24th
        WB. 21st
        CIA. 27th
        The UK might be the 5th or 6th largest economic power from the GDP, but that is not indicative of the standard of living of the average U.K. Person.
        Is this so difficult to understand?

      • Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        The centre of the Anglophile world ….

        Do you know it is not 1850?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        reply: I understanding where you are coming from I am not sure 450 million Europeans feel quite as strongly about how well the UK is positioned gong forward nor do teh Chinese, but so be it

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        reply. this is probably more a a historical fact than a present day fact the way you have outlined it?

    • John
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Well Hans

      Tell me what foreign policies you like from Federica Mogherini being the
      High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission?

      Personally I would like to know just any policy from this High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission who has a very expensive taste in hotels and transport.

      Off the top of your head, what has she influenced globally??

      • hefner
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        What about her role as EU representative in the Iranian nuclear talks?

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 26, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Wasn’t the Iranian settlement concluded by her predecessor Lady Cathy whatshername?

  27. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I find the premises taken as read behind this article very odd.

    Once out of the EU the UK will have more influence worldwide.

    If we could build a decent society and country – with fresh air, clean water, good food, a decent standard of living, tolerance, community, no poverty, the sick and old looked after etc. – we would have a lot of influence worldwide – everyone would want to copy us. But achieving the above seems to be beyond us. For some weird reason people keep voting for one of two parties that have never delivered it.

    The government has stated its wish to become a pioneer of free trade worldwide, and has found a welcome at the World Trade Organisation now we are converting our membership back to full voting membership.

    Why the obsession with free trade? To me it seems to involve a race to the bottom. We seemed to be on the right track back in the 60s and 70s – people had a shorter working week, decent holidays, paid overtime, good pensions etc. Now we have more free trade we have people with little or no job security, low wages and the hope of a good pension now a mere fantasy. Manufacturing keeps moving to where the labour is cheapest. Why is this a good thing?

    If the UK wants to have serious influence in the Middle East it needs to spend more time and resource on people with the languages and cultural and political understandings needed

    Do we want to have serious influence in the Middle East? Why? Who cares? I don’t. We should become energy independent of the Middle East’s oil as quickly as possible and leave them to live their lives as they see fit.

  28. Margaret Howard
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    We can do all of that and more now. But we have thrown away membership of a powerful bloc and are reducing ourselves to an insignificant European outpost

  29. MikeW
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    We have a foreign policy with the rest of the world, in fact we have embassies and Consulates located in most cities- probably far more than we really need, given our reduced status in the world today compared to fifty years ago. So what are we talking about here? the need to do one more solo run for old times sakes? Well it is all fantasy, dreamt up- the EU is holding the reins now along with the US, russia and China. Then we have the nations of the Asean bloc who look out for themselves. So are we seriously considering aligning ourselves now with South American countries or going back to knock on India’s door or even Indonesia?…Looking at it this way I have no idea of what you mean by the rest of the world and what it’s got to do with UK policy? If you exclude all countries above then theres nothing much left except Africa..back to the future..bwana

  30. Monza 71
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    While we have been subservient to the EU over the last 44 years, nothing has been stopping us from taking a full world role in many areas with the exception of the WTO.

    The fact that our senior Foreign Office mandarins have somewhat neglected its duties on the world stage and successive governments have starved the FCO of enough cash to continue our world role has nothing to do with actually being a member of the EU.

    There is clearly some urgent catching up to do and the FCO should have started recruiting more high quality candidates for the diplomatic service immediately following the referendum result. is requires more manpower and financial investment in the Foreign Office.

    Is Hammond already providing the necessary cash and if not , why not ?

    • formula57
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Re the FCO, recall during W. Hague’s time as foreign secretary, £10,000 was spent re-stuffing a snake. If that sort of adroit decision-making were redirected to the world stage then Britain would once again soon rule the world. Far better to leave the FCO as it is perhaps, but with a little less money?

  31. APL
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Another post critical of the Tory party, its reckless leaders and dangerous foreign policies disappears without trace.

    1984 much?

    • APL
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      JR: “in tackling modern slavery”

      It is already unlawful, and has been for some decades, to detain someone against their will without due process of law.

      Just enforce the laws that we already have.

      • APL
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        “Just enforce the laws that we already have.”

        And enforce the laws equally across all groups, religions, ethnicities.

  32. Identity
    Posted August 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Some people have noticed that the Labour and Liberal parties have identical foreign policies as if they were Germany looking upon us or down at us which ever vertical perspective you take…but not our perspective. I thought at first their was a conspiracy between certain Labour personages and Barnier. But no, their identical perspective and identical words come not from huddling together in a latter-day “gunpowder” plot. No, there attitude and thoughts and essence is just plainly not British.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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