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Brexit is teaching Britain its true place in the world
Perhaps we should step back from the bloviated rhetoric. Humiliation is too strong; a national humbling is more accurate. The philosophy of Brexit was that, freed of EU constraints, the UK would take its rightful place in the world. This is indeed what is happening, but alas that place is not as the great power of their imagination. The UK's place in the world is hardly terrible but, as Mr Johnson learnt during his brief but undistinguished term as foreign secretary, our emissaries no longer bestride summits like Castlereagh.

For far too long British politicians, journalists and voters have enjoyed a patently distorted vision of the nation as indispensable world player. Now the nation is facing the painful truth that the UK is not as pre-eminent as it has liked to believe.

For proof, look at the negotiations over the Irish border. One need not get into the rights and wrongs to see that the UK has essentially been pushed around by Ireland, because the EU has thrown its weight behind the demands of its continuing member. The hard fact is that the power imbalance has meant the UK is being forced to choose between the chaos of a no-deal Brexit or undermining the constitutional integrity of one of its four sovereign parts and signing up to a significant amount of rule-taking. This is what happens when a single country that is not America or China negotiates with a global trading bloc.

From the sequencing of the negotiations to the empty scorecard of British wins, the entire process has been a lesson in power politics. Few who saw the TV programme on America's London embassy will forget the smirks as an US official described the British Brexit delusions: "They sort of see it as a negotiation between two equal parties."



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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 05:07:18 PM EST

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