Brexit could enhance the UK’s international influence, helping the government’s ambition for a global Britain. But we must tread carefully and aim for an ‘open Brexit’ to ensure success.
Enhancing Our International Influence
Aftershocks tend to become less intense with time. While the High Court ruling in November was another hard jolt following the referendum earthquake, the final judgement by the Supreme Court and the recent vote by the House of Commons felt more like the ground settling. Slowly, some semblance of certainty seems to be falling into place as our judicial and political institutions plot a way ahead in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union.
Commentators and people on both sides of the referendum divide, and both sides of the Channel, have voiced exasperation at the delays, calling for the UK to ‘get on with it’. The UK is now doing exactly that. And if handled in the right way, the process of leaving the EU could enhance our international influence, helping to kick-start the government’s ambition for a truly global Britain. Here’s why:
Within the EU our reputation has certainly taken a hit. A recent British Council survey of young people across several major European countries showed significant falls in positive perceptions of the UK. If we’re to turn this around, during what is a tough time for political relationships, it is vital we remain interested and engaged with the people and culture of our European neighbours. The UK’s cultural and educational ties with Europe long pre-date the European Union and should help to set a positive tone of our future relations with the continent.
Our research has shown that views of the UK as a global power have slightly increased.
Outside Europe, in contrast, Brexit has so far created a significant positive boost for Britain’s reputation. Our research has shown that views of the UK as a global power have slightly increased. We are seen as a confident country seeking to make its own way in the world. Now is exactly the moment to capitalise on this. Successful alliances and enduring economic relationships depend on the bedrock of firm cultural ties. Prioritising stronger cultural and educational relationships will help secure the long term boost in global trade we will need outside the EU.