Britain, Brexit and world political order


Britain outside the European Union could be a smaller power but it is surely still an influential one. It is time for the island nation to repackage itself as a discrete but still but highly powerful entity outside the EU bloc. While Britain may not have seen an end to the pain caused by Brexit, there may be silver linings as well. The country could seek closer trade and diplomatic relations with other European nations which lie in the fringes of the EU. These include states like Turkey, Ukraine and Norway. Iceland and Switzerland may also be included in the outlier branch. Were the UK able to cultivate closer independent ties with these nations its position would be visibly strengthened. Britain has been an influential member of the EU and it is expected that the country, even standing apart from the Bloc will continue to be a major player in European affairs such as trade and common defense both as a ‘friend’ of Europe and a founding member of NATO.

UK-US special relationship

For the UK, its special relationship with the United States of America could turn out to be useful. The Prime Minister of the UK would be well served to suggest that the US President host a transatlantic summit in 2017 and invite all parties of both NATO and the EU to seriously discuss matters of joint security and Defense as well as the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.  For Britain, the new scenario brings in a lot of opportunities along with the challenges that have already been discussed at length. It has considerable economic and diplomatic influence to bring the disparate non-EU nations together. One prominent issue is the group’s dealings with the Middle East. Many important members of the Bloc have large investments in that part of the world.

EU market access

Yet another issue of contention is EU single market access. Even though each country in the group pursues its own agenda, they can be together to exert increased pressure on EU counterparts. Policies can also be influenced in this manner.  A more robust European defense is another bone of contention. Britain has long made its opposition known to autonomous EU defense framework. It has vehemently opposed any kind of EU military headquarters. Unlike following the standard wisdom of the UK trying to compensate its lost EU position by vying for a more prominent NATO role, it will try to create a rapprochement between NATO and the EU. This will provide Britain a better handle over EU security and defense related matters.

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