UK public opinion on foreign policy & global Britain – 2020 Survey


This report from UK think tank BFPG looks at the preferences, values and ambitions of the British public for Global Britain.

As Britain embarks upon its new life after the European Union, we are compelled to define our role and image in the world. It is a challenging time to do so: four years of polarising, fractious debate has left British society deeply divided, and the world order we are seeking to re-enter anew is itself undergoing dramatic structural shifts. The Global Britain project presents a defining opportunity for the nation to renew itself, consolidate its values, and take on a more prominent and meaningful leadership role in many of the world’s most pressing challenges. To realise these ambitions, however, the Government and all those with a vested interest in our role in the world must build consensus amongst the British people. Therefore, there has never been an important time to understand their preferences, their values and their ambitions for Britain and its international footprint.

This report presents the findings of a nationally representative survey of British adults led by the British Foreign Policy Group (BFPG), with the fieldwork undertaken by Opinium Research. This survey builds on the previous surveys conducted by the BFPG in 2017 and 2019, and it is our ambition for this to continue as an annual exercise. This year, we have expanded the social and political dimensions of the survey, exploring how these factors influence public opinion regarding international issues, our global presence, allies and enemies. We have also been able to incorporate some comparative data from the Lowy Institute and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs – two leading international research organisations in Australia and the United States. We hope that in time we can develop a truly comparable data-set between our three nations.

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