Global Britain


On Wednesday 27th March, the European Leadership Network (ELN) and Salamanca Group co-hosted the latest breakfast briefing part of the Strategic Insight series on “Global Britain: exploring Britain’s international relations and opportunities beyond the EU and Brexit.”

The discussion was chaired and introduced by Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, before handing over to the key speakers, Lord Jock Stirrup, Former Chief of Defence Staff and Sir Ivan Rogers, Former Permanent Representative of the UK to the European Union.

Lord Jock Stirrup took a strategic approach highlighting that our approach must be focused on what we can do rather than what we should do. Stirrup emphasized the importance of showing strength and outlined the factors the UK should use to demonstrate its strength on the International stage:

  • Intellectual moral authority – we must deliver actions to support the words
  • Economic power
  • Military strength

However, it is unlikely that any country can achieve this strength individually. For the UK to accomplish this in our hyper-connected world, it must rely on mutually beneficial partnerships, which need nurturing over time.

Sir Ivan Rogers laid out thoughts on the UK’s current situation in the midst of Brexit, highlighting the need for the UK to clarify what it is that we really want.

The need for greater consensus across within the UK and EU will be a pivotal factor in how negotiations can continue. If the disparity in the baseline approach from either side is not reduced, more political turmoil is inevitable.

Questions about the UK’s future bilateral relations with individual EU nation states and the potential of a trade deal with China arose, while acknowledging America’s (as the UK’s most enduring relationship) attitude to China will influence our foreign policy.

Speakers and guests concluded by recognising the extreme complexities of Brexit – a break from a 40-year relationship with the EU was never going to be easy – and the global partnerships that will feel its implications. It was acknowledged that the UK must identify its strengths (which should include defence exports and a highly qualified workforce) to recreate our UK identity, which is required in advance of establishing new bilateral agreements.

The next Strategic Insight breakfast will be held in May. If you are interested in attending, please contact