Opinion: Post-Brexit Britain’s Place In The World

Since Great Britain voted to leave the European Union (‘Brexit’) last year, there has been much internal debate and disagreement as to what the country should look like outside of the EU, as well as what role we should fulfil in the wider world. On the second point in particular, there have been two options presented – and I use that term loosely, for they are just hypothesis for the time being – to the public and politicians alike; firstly, there is the notion of a ‘global Britain’, with implications that Great Britain should forge closer bonds with the old Commonwealth nations, and seek sweeping free-trade arrangements with everybody from Brazil to Bahrain. Secondly, there is this somewhat timid theory that we should become a tag-along “sub-member” of the European Union, remaining within the European Single Market, remaining under the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction and so on, yet without officially being a member.

Both these options are fraught with dangers and, more importantly, elements that will prove highly unsatisfactory to the average sound-of-mind (rabid antifa/momentum-types excluded) individual of Great Britain. The ‘global Britain’ option comes at a high social price, for the price of a decent trading arrangement with many non-Anglosphere countries, such as India, is visa relaxations and therefore a continuation of the highly unpopular open door policy to third world migrants.

The tag-along path is not a great idea either. On the most basic level, it would fly in the face of democracy to remain a member of the European ‘club’ in all but name, after so many millions voted to leave last year. On top of this, there are individual points of sovereignty that the majority of people are very keen to regain, such as the supremacy of British courts and the rights to our own fishing waters, that we would be forced to concede should we become a satellite state of Brussels in this manner.

So, the pertinent question is therefore, if we do not take either the ‘global Britain’ option or the EU-satellite option, what is Britain’s place in the world to be?

What was telling over the weekend was Angela Merkel’s comments at her campaign event in Munich, at which she stated that Europe could ‘no longer rely on’ allies such as the United States and Great Britain, whilst also referring to Putin’s Russia in those major powers who are deemed outside the club. The implications of this is that Britain is now as much a part of Europe as Moscow is, and the European Union will be led down a path of further integration and greater self-sufficiency, with its own army and nuclear weapons for instance.

This helps us in a sense, for it all but removes the option for Britain to become a Norway-like subsidiary of the European Union, but it then leaves the door open for one logical outcome; to fall under the sphere of influence of either America or Russia. Of course, the latter is highly improbable regardless of who’s occupying Number 10 at any given time. However, the former notion that we should naturally fall under the sphere of influence of the United States must be avoided at all costs.

The problem with being inside the sphere of influence of the world’s policeman is that you invariably end up being used as a foot soldier. We’ve seen this happen many times in the past, with British troops being sent to fight and die in costly wars at the whims of the United States, as subsequent Prime Ministers sought to cultivate “the special relationship”, as it has been so misleadingly dubbed. In fact, this special relationship has led to the loss of an empire and has overseen Britain’s decline as a world power in the post-war period. That’s not to say that the Americans are to blame for these issues, but often it has been the fault of our politicians following the Washington/Bilderberg/Tel Aviv line, causing us to adopt certain social and economic doctrines that have proved to be disastrous.

It was, as an example, thanks to pressure from the United States and in particular, Henry Kissinger, that we so readily abandoned our kith and kin in Rhodesia in the 1960’s and 70’s, whilst it was our readiness to cripple under pressure from the CIA that prevented us from securing Cyprus’ sovereignty when the Turks invaded in 1974. Furthermore, it has been thanks to certain politicians wishing to model British society on that of America’s that has led to the notion that Britain is a naturally ‘multi-ethnic liberal democracy’, something that the majority of Britons have mostly regarded as an alien concept.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be the best of friends with the United States – we should. It is, however, not in our interests to be the lap dog or a puppet of the US government.

Instead, Britain must seek to rebuild her place in the world that we once occupied independently, outside of anybody else’s sphere of influence. This means trade with any country of the world where it suits us to do so; it means substantially growing our military and naval power; it means expanding our nuclear arsenal and, importantly, staying out of foreign wars that are not in the interests of the British people – all these measures would be necessary to sustain such a high position on the world stage, but they will also allow us not to be dictated to by another.

Our outlook should be both isolationist and nationalistic. We must reject the modern notion that free-trade with a nation equates to porous borders and the exchange of cultures, which means on a basic level that we must bring in stronger border controls than any western nation currently has. It also means that we must, wherever possible, work towards economic self-sufficiency so that we are not dependent on another to the point where we can be influenced or blackmailed (I.e. India demanding visa relaxations in exchange for a trade deal).

In short, we must achieve a position whereby we are not dependent on being under the sphere of influence of a global power, for we will be a global power on a par with Russia, Japan, China and so on. Granted, our economic output will not match those nations which vastly outnumber us in terms of population size, but provided we have a strong military and some degree of self-sufficiency, then this will not be a prerequisite of being a global power.

Of course, it appears that the current British Prime Minister Theresa May is stuck in two minds between the two most unfavourable options stated previously. On the one hand, she is seeking ties with both the United States and the Commonwealth, yet on the other she seems prepared to cave to the demands of the European Union and seeks to keep us entangled in various aspects of their common policies for at least the next parliament. This comes out of the typical post-war lack of morale that has infected the majority of British cabinets over the last 70 years, which asserts that Britain has had her day in the sun as a world power, and must now seek to fall timidly under the influence of a much greater, more powerful entity.

Nonsense. We are the exporters of the most widely used systems of democracy and law, we had the capacity as a people to rule over a third of the world, we haven’t been invaded in the last thousand years of our history – surely, the spirit that bred such worthy statements has not died forever?

It is high time we stopped talking about who’s sphere of influence we will comfortably fall under, and start thinking more with the mindset that once delivered to us all the riches of the world.

William is a writer based in England, Great Britain.