22 July, 2023

Britain’s Dream of Global Britain- Possibility and Challenges


The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 countries located in the European region. April 19, 1951 Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands jointly sign European Coal and Steel Community agreement. 

The Treaty of Rome was signed on March 25, 1957, which created the Common Market/ European Economic Community (EEC) and European Atomic Energy Community. In January 1973, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark joined in EU. 

In June 2016, the people of the United Kingdom Hold a referendum on the question of whether or not the UK will stay in EU. Where 52% voted to leave and 48% voted to remain a member of the European Union. The separation took effect on January 31, 2020. 

Boris Johnson, Theresa May and other politicians of conservative party have presented Brexit as the first step towards a “Global Britain” which means“a Great Escape from the EU.” 

What is Brexit and Why did the Britain leave the EU? 

It is an abbreviation for the term “British exit.” This is the process of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Brexit happened on January 31, 2020, and the transition Period ended on December 31, 2020. This process of Britain’s exit is mainly called Brexit. There were a few complications behind the reason for leaving the EU. 

Many British citizens were unhappy with the EU’s compliance with their country’s rules. There was also unease among the British about the increasing number of immigrants in the country. According to EU rules, the 28 countries of the union can travel from one country to another without a visa. 

The then-British Prime Minister David Cameron was able to reduce the number of immigrants from outside the EU in the first term of his government. But could not prevent the entry of European citizens. According to his promise in the second term, he proposed to stop the benefits for four years to discourage citizens of EU countries from entering the UK. 

European leaders expressed dissatisfaction. They claim that if there is inequality in the payment of benefits to the citizens of member countries, it will be in conflict with the main purpose of the establishment of the EU. And that’s why the question of whether or not to keep the UK in the EU arises. 

In talks with EU leaders on Brexit, Cameron proposes four reforms, including limiting immigration benefits. And then, EU leaders reached an agreement with Cameron on that proposal. Cameron announced the date of the referendum on Brexit. 

Britain held a referendum on June 23, 2016. The people of the country gave the final verdict in the referendum on whether Britain should stay in the EU or not. So 52 percent of the people voted for Brexit. 

Understanding Global Britain concept briefly 

Global Britain is the UK government’s mantra for post-Brexit foreign policy. Global Britain is a concept where Britain wants to inform the world about its power. Britain has always wanted to be different from the EU; that is, it wants to establish itself as a superpower. 

It is about connecting with old friends and new allies to make a new place for itself in the world. The journey of Global Britain began with Britain’s exit from the EU. And the term Global Britain term was first introduced in 2016. Post-Brexit: What changes will come in front of Global Britain Dream?

 Things that will change UK MPs will lose their seats in the European Parliament. They will lose their membership. Because the UK is also leaving the EU’s political institutions and agencies Not at the EU summit: If the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, wants to attend the EU Council Summit in the future, he will need a special invitation. 

British ministers will no longer be able to attend regular EU meetings. Changes in trade matters: The UK can start negotiations with any country in the world to come up with new rules for selling or buying their products and services. While a member of the European Union, the UK could not negotiate formal trade with countries such as the United States or Australia. 

Now Brexit supporters say the freedom to adjust the UK’s trade policy will strengthen the UK economy. Germany will not extradite anyone to the UK. If a suspected criminal escapes from the UK and takes refuge in Germany, Germany will not return him. 

Because there is no opportunity to extradite a citizen of any country other than the European Union, according to the German constitution. Things that will not change 

  • Driving license and pet passport; these will continue to be valid.
  • European health insurance card; with this card, UK citizens get state health care in case of illness or accident treatment. 
  • UK citizens living in other EU countries will receive state pension benefits. 
  • EU trade with the UK will continue without any new charges. 

A trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union has been finalized. The agreement guarantees the continuity of the UK’s existing trade with Europe. From the beginning of 2021, as before, the UK will have duty and quota-free access to the single market in Europe. But even after the deal, Brexit will have some effect on UK-EU trade. 

The agreement makes the UK a third country, just like any other country outside the European Union. As a result, the UK will not get any additional advantage in the competition. They must comply with EU laws on a variety of issues, including workers’ rights and environmental standards.

 Obstacles to Global Britain 

Britain has already lost its membership in the European Union. As a result, they might face some difficulties in doing free trade like before, and economic losses could be incurred. The United Kingdom consists of four countries. 

Brexit was wanted by the UK but not by Scotland or Northern Ireland. If Northern Ireland and Scotland are excluded because of Brexit, then the United Kingdom’s dominant power will decrease. Scotland provides 10 percent of Britain’s economy, so if they leave, Britain’s membership in the G7, one of the richest and most industrialized countries, will be in question. 

Even if Scotland leaves, Britain may get G7 membership, but its status will be reduced. Top institutions like the IMF, OECD, CBI, and Bank of England think Brexit could stifle Britain’s growth. The Brexit referendum damaged the UK’s economy. It has reduced GDP, trade, and investment. It has pushed up UK inflation by 1.7% and reduced national income by 6% and 1.3%, respectively. 

After Brexit, Britain got hit by COVID, which is also an obstacle to the global Britain dream. Necessary Initiatives to Be a ‘Global Britain’ The UK has long been a global leader in reducing poverty and contributing to peace, security, and prosperity. 

As the country exits the European Union, it could be tough to continue this leadership. The UK should focus on some important areas to ensure its global leadership. Such as… 

  1. Britain has to adopt an effective economic policy. 
  2. Britain’s trade relations with European countries can be affected by the Brexit’ issue. So It should look for alternative, beneficial markets. 
  3. Many Former British colonial states where Chinese trade has spread So, It needs to be concerned about this and should balance trade policy. 
  4. Britain must increase its trade relations with the USA. It wouldn’t be too easy and could be a cause of political influence. 

After all, Britain should have a strong strategic policy concerning all these issues. 

 The Possibility of Global Britain Dream 

The vote to leave the European Union has taken a turn in British politics. We will have to wait longer to see if the Global Britain dream comes true. Those who are in favor of Brexit think that Britain can now do trade and other decision-making with other countries freely, which it could not do before.

 Most of the decisions Britain has made in the past have been successful. Britain was the first country in Europe to be reorganized so quickly after World War II. On their way to becoming a Global Britain, they initially faced difficulties, but Britain’s past experience has shown that they can overcome obstacles.

Despite low productivity, the British economy remains dynamic, as London has the highest concentration of fast-growing companies among European cities. Britain plays one of the biggest roles due to its high-class intelligence, military, and security issues in Europe and abroad. Apart from this, British officials play decision-making roles on International stages like the G-7, NATO, and UN Security Council, and they play an active role in anti-terrorism fights and international development.

Britain’s position in favor of Hong Kong and the steps taken were confident. But history always doesn’t favor The world politics of Then and Now aren’t the same; many global actors are on the rise, especially China, Germany, and Russia. Britain’s Global vision is a decent idea, but it needs rational decisions and re-engagement with Europe. 

The world is currently dominated by three economic blocks: the US, China, and the European Union, where Britain has finalized its divorce from the last one. Meanwhile, Biden takes over for Trump, who wants multilateralism and cooperation, but Brexit is completely against that Idea. Biden doesn’t like the idea of Britain’s exit from the EU. 

On the other hand, Biden’s transatlantic policies aren’t about special relationships; Britain will be a part of his transatlantic policies. Biden’s role will definitely pose challenges for the UK government. However, there is no denying that German-US relations will become important in the European Union from now on. 

There is no problem with Britain’s NATO membership. But Jens Stoltenberg, the agency’s secretary general, once made it clear that Britain was working to bridge the gap between the European Union and its allies; now Britain has no time to play that role. 

As of now, it is very difficult to predict whether Britain’s global dream will be successful or not. Britain has the ability to be a powerful entity in world politics, but this dream will not come easily or anytime soon. 


The UK has long been a global leader in reducing poverty and contributing to peace, security, and prosperity. As the country exits the European Union, it could be tough to continue this leadership. 

The UK should focus on some important areas to ensure its global leadership. Such as champion trade with developing countries, manage migration and displacement, strengthen global leadership on gender equality, prevent conflict, and sustain peace. 

Written By 

Kaniz Fatima Kanon 

Dept of International Relations 

Jahangirnagar University 


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