The EU has been far from perfect. And the UK has not maximized its opportunities for multilateral cooperation on the many challenges and crises facing the international community. Despite these challenges, however, British influence on the global stage has been multiplied by the EU, as was clear with the recent Iranian nuclear deal. And Syria shows that where we do not step in, others such as Russia will, with disastrous consequences for peace and stability.
There could be more optimism for the future if the UK invested in its foreign policy and actually had a strategy with direction and purpose. There is little to suggest that Theresa May’s government will address foreign policy shortcomings as it grapples with political and economic problems at home. Brexit will not only hurt our capacity to address international challenges but we also lack a proactive foreign policy to take its place.
It could be the despots, the Russians and rising powers such as China who will have the last laugh: isolation and division enable them to enhance their own influence and presence in volatile regions such as the Middle East, while also enabling them to challenge the international order.
Ranj Alaaldin – The Guardian