Revitalization of the “Global Britain” program after Brexit

(VOVWORLD) – In 2021, Great Britain will host the summit of the seven industrialized countries G7 and the UN climate conference COP26. Now that Great Britain has just officially left the European Union, the holding of the two conferences could help the country promote its global cooperation and strengthen its position.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London on 15.12.2020. (Photo: Xinhua / VNA)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared that 2021 will be a very important year for global Britain. He is making an effort to shift the focus on Brexit into a new agenda as the host of the two important conferences, G7 summit and COP26.

Strengthen the UK’s position after Brexit

The G7 summit and the UN climate conference COP26 are expected to take place in June and November 2021. So far the UK has prepared for this and set many goals for both conferences to strengthen the UK’s position.

For the G7 summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson would like to initiate a global measure against the Covid-19 epidemic. At the same time, a new union is to be founded based on the large economies. This is supposed to be a forum for heads of state and government of the largest countries to meet in person after a year of interruption due to the pandemic. Johnson wants to meet the heads of state and government of the G7 countries before the summit to discuss the fight against Covid-19, for example about the production and distribution of vaccines.

The British Prime Minister describes the G7 summit as a preparation for the UN climate change conference COP26 in November. An important part of the COP26 in Glasgow is the discussion of economic potential and the ability to create jobs through technology development in order to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Will a “global Britain” be realized?

From January 1, 2021, Great Britain will leave the European Union after 48 years in the European single market. After Brexit, Britain wants to turn outwards, even to a free trade agreement with the countries in the Pacific region. So far, the UK has signed post-Brexit trade deals with Japan, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Vietnam and a few other countries. Other agreements in the roadmap are expected to cover 80 percent of British foreign trade in 2022. As a result, the UK Foreign Office has had to bring development aid content into its foreign affairs program.

But there is pressure for Britain to restrict its activities on the world stage, particularly because of financial difficulties. Britain had to impose a lockdown on the whole country. In November, the country reduced its commitment to development aid from 0.7 percent of gross domestic product to 0.5 percent. In addition, the country is facing division for its territorial unity. Northern Ireland is currently protesting the position of the British government after 56 percent of Northern Ireland’s population voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum that Northern Ireland should remain in the EU. In the recent polls in Scotland, there is also growing support for the country to leave the UK. If Scotland became an independent country, Britain’s tax revenue would be greatly reduced. The British government has to cut the budget for international activities and for defense.

All of this would weaken Britain’s power around the world. The “global Britain” ambition would then be difficult to achieve.


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