What are the obstacles on the way to realizing a global Britain, and how will the reforming of global Britain clear out the obstacles?
In the Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy, published in March 2021, the UK government set out four strategic objectives for ‘Global Britain’ ‘in a Competitive Age’ through 2030, in which little attention had been paid to Eastern Europe. But the Ukraine war indicated that British security is dependent on peace in European and that this necessitated the reform of Boris Johnson’s reforming of global Britain.
Global Britain, Reviving the international role of the British leadership
In analyzing “Global Britain“, the Government set four strategic goals for Britain. Firstly, Britain will help shape a new international order supporting liberal democratic principles, especially in Europe, India and Oceania. An order that is based on open political and economic patterns.
Second, Britain will live up to its commitments as a critical contributor to maintaining international security. British policy in this area is concentrated on its neighbours and considers Russia the most acute threat to its security and Europe. Therefore, the British Government described its commitment as “the leading European Ally within NATO”.
The UK’s integrated global review also looks at India and the Pacific, in which this country will be a US ally against China. On this subject, China is mentioned as “a systemic competitor” in this document.
The third subject is that it considers itself committed to playing a leading role in addressing the challenges of climate change, poverty and health, both domestically and globally. Finally, the fourth is to guarantee meeting the economic interests of Britain and its citizens and become a superpower in science and technology for that by 2030.
The achievements of the British Government regarding global Britain
Boris Johnson’s Government has been the subject of numerous media reports over the past year, of which the most notable is the British presidency of the Group of Seven. Johnson emphasized the need to take action against China’s “Belt and Road” initiative in this political forum.
The British Government also tried to prevent bribery and misuse of public funds and corporations in Britain by establishing new regulations. But the problem was with Britain leaving the proof of whether the wealth was legal to the country of origin, countries in which it is rarely considered, like Russia.
This issue led to domestic and foreign criticism of the law for Britain, as Russia intensified its military pressure on Ukraine. For this reason, this country decided to exert a series of unprecedented sanctions on the regime of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian economy.
One of the critical weaknesses of the Boris Johnson administration in implementing global Britain has been the promotion of its national economy. Commodity exports are now 5% ahead of pandemic levels in all advanced economies. This is while British exports are still more than 10% lower than during the pandemic.
After Brexit, British exports to the EU were lowered sharply, while Britain could still trade with the EU without any limits. In 2021, the UK’s recovery from the worst effects of lock-down caused by the pandemic was below average compared to other Group of Seven countries.
Johnson’s crossroads in the path of security
The past few weeks and the joint actions of the international system regarding the Ukraine crisis and the Russian invasion have indicated how strong the alliance can be. This may have been the first time that the British Government tried to play an active role alongside other European parties rather than taking a confrontational approach.
The Johnson administration’s plan for an integrated review of international security and policy in Eastern Europe was not robust. But it was trumpeted by the prime minister as a “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific.
But the war in Ukraine and the Russian threat showed that Eastern Europe is a strategic depth and an important border for the geopolitical future of the EU and Britain. The extensive criticism of global Britain is that it has limited the boundaries of this country to its geographical borders. In contrast, its security borders are the borders of its European allies, who are grappling with the Russian threat.
The Labor Party seeks to operationalize Brexit, exerting an independent foreign and defence policy toward the European neighbours. Nevertheless, rebuilding relations and strengthening alliances with them against common threats seems to be necessary.
This puts Boris Johnson’s Government at a crossroads of whether to continue quarrelling with its European friends or seek an alliance with them and rush to the aid of Romania, Hungary, Moldova and Poland during the reforming of global Britain. These countries had a low profile in the diplomatic apparatus of the British Global program.
Observations of the Ukraine crisis and the disorder in Europe in recent weeks indicate that Boris Johnson’s Government has made many miscalculations in The Government’s plan in the Integrated Review for Security and International Security Policy and that reforming global Britain is needed.
This, along with the mistakes of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in recent months, has led to criticism. Boris Johnson’s recent attempt to consider the Ukraine war similar to the Brexit referendum was an unwise and insulting comparison. In addition to that, a few months before the Russian invasion, he considered European military and security alliances to be unnecessary.
This has led to an increase in cooperation with the European Union in the fields of security, economics, etc., in addition to the willingness and goodwill of Britain to a government in this country that can restore trust and confidence among the parties.
This is while the leaders of other European countries have called the invasion of Ukraine to be the starting point for a new level of unity among the continent. Last week, the European Union also published its unique security and defence plan, which said that “Russia’s war of aggression constitutes a tectonic shift in European history.”
For the time being, the role of Britain in this security alliance has remained unknown. It seems that the time has come for the reforming of global Britain and strengthening the security and military diplomacy of this country with its European neighbours to help countries that were of little importance to the British defence-security doctrine before the war in Ukraine had taken place.