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Let’s have a look at foreign policy & Brexit. How will the new “Global Britain” fare as a foreign policy power on its own once more? /1

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This isn’t a “Britain is screwed” thread. Oh, it’s not good news, but unlike the damage done to UK trade by Brexit, it can be managed. /2
The UK has a number of things going for it, and options. But it needs to accept the loss of influence & of key tools, and learn to adapt. /3
Most importantly, 21st C Britain inherits a permanent seat on the UN Security Council from its early 20th C former superpower self. /4
The UNSC seat gives the UK considerable legacy influence (some might say above its station & desserts, but there we are). /5
The UK also has lots of soft power through culture & language; won’t last forever & should be carefully nurtured, not taken for granted. /6
UK’s hard power is far less than it was, & will diminish fast in line w economy. EU partnerships were a way to multiply & reinforce. /7
Bilateral deals will still be possible but with EU consolidating security & defence, UK won’t be leading that, will play 2nd fiddle. /8
That’s a shame as EU helped UK project power further & UK was lead voice in EU Common Security & Defence Policy. Setback also for EU. /9
A strong EU is in UK foreign policy interests, creating a more secure & stable immediate neighbourhood & projecting values abroad. /10
So weakening EU foreign policy via Brexit is self-harming. But this should not be overstated. UK role probably less than many think. /11
While UK took active lead in policy discussion, UK has not been a major contributor to CSDP missions. Brexit won’t make big difference. /12
In foreign pol UK has much more to lose than rEU from Brexit. EU gave UK fp much more bang for buck. UK loses key platform & multiplier. /13
UK wants strong strategic security partnership w EU going forward, great, but won’t be making operational decisions as a 3rd country. /14
UK also loses out on soft power being outside world’s 2nd largest market & unable to use that economic leverage. /15
This is particularly relevant when it comes to sanctions. Sanctions are the UK’s favourite foreign policy tool. /16
UK is the most active initiator of EU sanctions, was the driver behind most EU sanctions regimes, powerful tool for UK foreign policy. /17
It loses that tool when it leaves the EU. It can launch sanctions unilaterally, but what impact will that have compared to EU? /18
When Myanmar or Iran or Russia find the entire EU market closed to them, that hurts. That focuses minds. UK market alone much smaller. /19
And likely to get still smaller now. Lost widget sales to the UK are unlikely to make enough of a dent to change the bad guys’ minds. /20
Smaller countries can have foreign policy reach well beyond their relative size. See eg Canada, Switzerland, Norway, all outside the EU. /21
Their reach comes from soft power, investment in diplomacy, mediation, peacekeeping. Expensive & heavily reliant on reputation. /22
UK’s current path is leading it in the wrong direction. Defence cuts, shrinking capacity, & worst of all reputational damage. /23
Foreign Office reputation will take years to recover from Brexit & Johnson, if it ever does. /24
Of course, all of this suits certain international players very well. Moscow thanks you, Leavers. /25
In summary, Brexit weakens UK foreign policy but UK still has important role to play, however it must reverse damage to reputation. /26
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