Britain’s global role discussed by Helle Thorning-Schmidt
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Former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt reflected on Brexit Britain’s ability to connect organise nations of the world and promote cooperation. While speaking to Nick Robinson on his BBC programme Small Island or Global Britain, she claimed the UK has been unsure of its global position for 60 years. She also argued the UK was creating enemies in Europe and that a less close relationship with the European Union would shrink its reach on the global platform.
Mr Robinson said: “Britain should use its diplomatic strength, our membership of all those global clubs to show, in the words of the Government’s review of our place in the world, we are problem solvers.
“There is just one problem with that, many of our traditional allies have come to see Britain as a creator of problems rather than a solver.”
Mr Robinson then spoke to the former Danish prime minister for her views on Britain’s future.
He noted that she now lives and works in London.
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She said: “I think Britain has been confused about its place in the world for the last 60 years.
“I do think that Britain has the potential to be a connector of nations because of its history and because of its commitment to liberal democracy and the rule of law.
“All of these things are so important.
“I must say that looking at it right now, I don’t see that as being just something that could happen over the next coming months or years.”
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Ms Schmidt then argued that Brexit had weakened the UK and its international voice.
She said: “I do think that when you make yourselves small in Europe and make enemies in Europe it is hard to be a convener.
“Also by the way that you talk about other European nations and when you also have a weaker relationship with the US than you used to have, I think it is then hard to be a convener.”
Mr Robinson reflected on how an individual feels about Brexit may also play a role in whether they believe the UK will have success internationally.
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He said: “Could it perhaps be that your view on where our place in the world is depends on your view on Brexit?
“We asked the pollsters Ipsos Mori to assess the British public’s attitude.
“43 percent said Britain should try to punch above its weight in world affairs.
“But a third, 33 percent said Britain should stop pretending we are an important power.”
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