Global Britain: a twenty-first century vision

In this report, Bob Seely MP and James Rogers ask how the United Kingdom (UK) might strengthen its global role and position. They argue that flesh needs to be added to the skeleton of “Global Britain”. They believe this can be achieved through the development of a British global policy that reflects the United Kingdom’s (UK) own historical development and national culture and institutions.

Consequently, the two authors claim that British global policy should be structured around the promotion of three great, fundamental freedoms: Freedom for Trade, Freedom from Oppression, and Freedom of Thought. They believe these three freedoms will be essential for democratic nations to prevail in the more competitive world of the twenty-first century. More specifically, the two authors argue that Global Britain should re-engineer its departments of state, paying particular focus to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Department for International Development (DfID), and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

They believe DfID and the DIT should be rolled into the FCO as new agencies to improve departmental integration in Whitehall. Meanwhile, they argue that a National Strategy Council should be established (effectively consuming the pre-existing National Security Council) to provide greater strategic direction. This new National Security Council should draw up a National Global Strategy to better integrate the work of the FCO and MoD, among other parts of government.

The report concludes by offering a number of suggestions as to how Global Britain might strengthen its global role and position in the twenty-first century, from promoting greater cooperation with Australia, Canada and New Zealand (the so-called “CANZUK” group), to refocusing Britain’s strategic posture on the European continent, particularly in defence of freedom in Ukraine.

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