Rishi Snak charts post-Brexit role in pivot from ‘Global Britain’

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has shut down his predecessor’s projects, big and small from Liz Truss’ project. trickle tax relief to Boris Johnson improved royal yachtBut one of Sunak’s most iconic changes since then was collection The Prime Minister dropped the slogan ‘Global Britain’ five months ago after it fell out of the spotlight.

no more phraseIt’s a relic of Britain’s debate over Britain’s post-Brexit role, featured in speeches by ministers and in the government’s latest military and foreign policy blueprints released last Monday.

Instead, Mr Sunak has put together slick trade and immigration deals with Britain’s closest neighbor France and other EU countries. In the process, analysts and diplomats say Britain is beginning to play a real role on the world stage for the first time since leaving the European Union.

Global Britain advocated by Mr. Johnson, was meant to evoke a potentially agile, opportunistic, loosely regulated, free-trade powerhouse, Britain, liberated from Brussels. In fact, it has come to symbolize a country with enormous ambitions and a habit of quarreling with its neighbors under Mr Johnson.

Mr. Sunak changed all that with a pragmatic approach that somewhat reflects his thinking. Button-down, technocratic style(On domestic policy, it eschews Truss’s ideological experiments and Johnson’s bombastic politics in favor of a more methodical approach to Britain’s deep-seated economic problems.)

But leadership style does matter, and on the world stage, Sunak’s irresponsible approach pays off in a noticeable way.

For the last few weeks he signed a contract Northern Ireland trade with Brussels Easing long-standing Brexit-related tensions Launching the next phase with France submarine alliance It strengthened Britain’s role by announcing that it would work with Australia and the United States to increase military spending by £11 billion (about $13.3 billion) over the next five years. Major Arms Supplier to Ukraine.

“It’s too early to say whether Snak has found a role in a post-Brexit Britain,” said Peter Westmacott, former British ambassador to France and the United States. “But he ousted Johnson’s much-mocked ‘Global Britain’ slogan in favor of under-promising and over-delivering. He is also moving quickly to fix some obstacles to improve our relationship with our partner. ”

There are lingering obstacles to Britain’s new role. Above all, it is the right wing of the Conservative Party, which is skeptical of the European Union (EU) and could derail a trade deal in Northern Ireland.Human rights experts have also condemned new government plan To prevent asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel, saying it violates international law.

Still, Westmacott said, “at a time when like-minded liberal democracies have more reason than ever to work together, let us not underestimate the value of restoring trust and mutual respect at the head of government level. let’s do it,’ he said.

Mr. Sunak set off on an epic fence repair tour.Not like Johnson, who once quarreled with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sausageMr. Snack called Mr. Macron “Monami”. met in Paris this month And we agreed to work together to stop migrants from crossing the border.

Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Windsor Framework, she called him “Dear Rishi”. It was a stark contrast to the lofty encounters she had once had with Mr. Johnson.

President Biden also likes Sunak, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll help the prime minister at home. While Mr. Sunak was visiting San Diego, launch a submarine allianceBiden said Sunak graduated from Stanford University and owns a house on the coast. “That’s why I’m so nice to you,” Biden said. “Maybe you can invite me to your house in California.”

Sunak’s Santa Monica mansion he is wealthy He held permanent residency in the United States while he was Prime Minister of the Treasury Department. It’s a question that haunted him when he ran for Conservative leader last year. (A few months after Mr. Truss’ financial failure, he claimed his job forced her to resign.)

The White House did not specify in its statement Mr Sunak’s role in the signing of the Northern Ireland Agreement with Brussels. The prime minister told Biden in his first face-to-face meeting as leader in November, Resolve the issue in time for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Pact in April.

Former top UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office official Simon Fraser said: “I suspect the US is getting cautious. “Since Brexit, the UK has had a lot of false starts.”

British officials said the language of the White House statement was helpful. Because in Northern Ireland’s tricky political climate, where Biden’s endorsements are controversial, confirming Mr Sunak’s name could have been a headache for him. Many perceive the president, a proud Irish-American, to be sympathetic to those in the region who want unity with the Republic of Ireland.

In any case, Mr Biden is set to visit the Northern Irish capital Belfast next month to mark the quarter-century since the Good Friday pact that ended decades of sectarian violence known as the Troubles. The president also invited Sunak to the White House in June.

The Submarine Agreement is a reminder that Britain remains the most important military power in NATO after the United States. US officials say they were encouraged that Mr Sunak did not weaken Britain’s ruthless support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. started under Mr Johnson On Thursday, it was reinforced recently when Sunak and Zelensky spoke of Russia’s relentless aggression. Bakhmut city in Ukraine.

Moreover, the government budget announced by Sunak Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday promises to raise Britain’s military spending to 2.5% of economic output, although no date has been given for achieving that target. It has not been. The additional funds will be used to build new nuclear submarines and military aircraft and to replenish inventories depleted by a pipeline of weapons sent to Ukraine.

Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at Policy Exchange, said: “This past week has been about how Rishi Sunak sees the world and how he wants the world to see Britain. It teaches us something very important about think tank. “We are connected, open and ambitious, but realistic about delivering on our promises.”

Mr Gaston argued that there was more continuity in British foreign policy than the change in language suggested. For one, the latest military and foreign policy review was written by the same foreign policy adviser, John View, who wrote the 2021 review titled ‘Global Britain in a Competitive Age’. .

And while the new document uses less booster language, it still highlights Britain’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific. As expected, it could pick up quickly if the UK joins an 11-country regional trade bloc known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But the UK’s cooperation with its European neighbors is also said to have been unfashionable three years ago.

Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director of the Royal United Service Institute, a research institute in London, said: “It is rooted in the reality of Britain as a vital middle power that must work with other countries. , is not a superpower.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/19/world/europe/rishi-sunak-global-britain.html Rishi Snak charts post-Brexit role in pivot from ‘Global Britain’

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