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Friday, February 16, 2024

Brexit: did it favour the UK and its foreign policy?

The writer discusses the foreign policy of the UK before and after Brexit. According to the writer, Brexit, along with Covid-19, has reduced the UK's global dominance.

The contemporary, especially the second decade of the 21st century, is causing immense changes around the world, especially in foreign policies. Before delving deeper we should have a brief introduction that how the foreign policies can be seen through two structural prisms. Firstly, the foreign policies around the world are severely affected by the US-China ongoing rivalry and secondly, the rising populism in the western hemisphere is defenestrating the liberal world order.

In the contemporary world, the United Kingdom is no more in the Pax Britannica of the twentieth-century, rather, it faces various difficulties and problems in its structure and system.

Colonial Britain is no more dominating the world’s economy, after Brexit, it is now facing internal threats of disintegration as we will discuss later. In the contemporary world, the UK foreign policy revolves around its newly revived nationalism or populism, however, this populism is not new as narrated.

Read more: Britain in Search of New Global Role after Brexit

The historical context of UK populism

Long before Brexit, after the second world war era, the people of the United Kingdom (when Charles de Gaulle was the president of France) felt alienated and isolated from the very European economic community.

Till the late 1960s, France was historically (under Charles de Gaulle) against the United Kingdom’s entry into the European economic community. This enmity was because major powers of Europe thought of the UK as a pro-American state which could halt the progress of the community.

Read more: The Problem in the European Union

After the death of Charles de Gaulle, the UK was finally admitted into that community. Then we can see that even after the establishment of the European Union, the UK, due to its cornered status, was provided with the relief of 25% less contribution, in the shape of tax exemptions, than other EU countries, but was receiving full benefits. But now it seems to be that it has been not enough for the United kingdom.

UK’s contemporary foreign policy

The contemporary foreign policy of the United Kingdom is now primarily being driven by its popular narrative. The scope of UK foreign policy is now believed to be much more limited after the so-called Brexit but nobody knows how God turns the table.

Historically, UK foreign policy especially in the late 20th and early 21st century was directly linked to the United States. Whether it is the cold war, the Iraq war or the war on terror, the United Kingdom completely aligned its foreign policy with the Americans, especially the Tony Blair government.

Read more: Op-ed: How British, US links increased with Nazi Germany during Hitler’s power

Furthermore, the foreign policy of the United Kingdom is secondly driven by its relations with the European Union. United kingdom without the European Union according to some scholars will be completely isolated.

Brexit and Covid-19 nexus

According to the popular narrative of the British, the United Kingdom will be more independent in its foreign policy and conventions which were in threat especially under European trade laws and it’s Court of Justice. However, facts prove otherwise, as currently in the Covid-19, the dramatic recession of the British economy is a case in point. The Brexit and covid-19 nexus proved to be a disastrous hit for the United Kingdom.

Read more: Coronavirus may alter a key concept of Brexit: Unification of Ireland!

So we can say that the foreign policy of the United Kingdom is a mixture of both isolationism and interdependency e.g isolating itself from the European Union for being more independent to create interdependencies among Nations.

Recently, a deal for Brexit was finalized with some pros and cons but it is expected that the UK global power stance will now be less influential as was before. The authoritarianism provoked by the covid-19 is now rapidly evaporating as we have seen the populist leaders around the world like Donald Trump, are facing defeat and severe backlash within their country.

Read more: COVID-19: Truth about World Order is not what you think!

This will intensify the situation in Britain as the governments that yielded to the nationalists, will have to regret it later.

The writer is the Political Advisor to Chairman Senate Commerce Committee and FBR Reform committee. He is also the founder of POLITICA-think tank and a student of Masters in Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Punjab. The writer can be reached at tahaejaz588@gmail.com.The views expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.