Global Britain policy 'risks damaging UK's reputation', MPs warn

Posted On: 
12th March 2018

The Foreign Office's post-Brexit 'Global Britain' slogan will continue to look like a “superficial branding exercise” unless it is more precisely defined, a group of influential MPs have warned.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has used the term 'Global Britain' during speeches.
PA Images

The Government's 'Global Britain' strategy lacks substance, resources or clear priorities, a report from the Foreign Affairs Committee has concluded.

The report added that the brand had not been precisely defined by the FCO, and that during evidence sessions government ministers had been unable to set out what the policy meant.

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MPs warned that 'Global Britain' represented the Government's aspirations but did not amount to a strategy.

Failure to clarify the position could be damaging to the UK's ability to influence world affairs after Brexit, they said.

"If Global Britain comes to be perceived as a superficial branding exercise, it risks undermining UK interests by damaging our reputation overseas and eroding support for a global outlook here at home," it read.

"For the UK to demonstrate genuine global leadership, its foreign policy requires coherent strategic direction, supported by adequate resources."

Committee chair Tom Tugendhat urged the Prime Minister to further explain the intention of the strategy in a keynote speech in the House of Commons.

“The Committee agrees that the time is right to take stock of the UK’s place in the world," he said.

"As we prepare to leave the EU, it is vital that we set out our stall. But to demonstrate global leadership, we need a clear statement of objectives and priorities and a commitment to the sufficient resources to achieve them."

He added: “The UK is a global player, but a slogan is not a policy and the country needs a clear strategy to shape our actions or we risk damaging our reputation overseas and eroding support for a global outlook at home. 

"Ministers need to show that the idea of ‘Global Britain’ means more than a continuation of the FCO’s current activities and is instead a targeted, resourced plan. In the meantime, the Committee will continue to pursue aspects of Global Britain through a series of inquiries.”