Brexit and Britain’s Role in the World
Content analysis carried out during and after the Brexit referendum has revealed the discussion about Britain's world role, including the foreign and defence implications, played out on the margins of the campaign. This chapter explores the idea of Global Britain, which responds to Brexit – withdrawal from the Europe circle – by scaling up British involvement in the Commonwealth and Anglosphere circles. The synergies with the Churchill model, it is suggested, are plainly evident. Finally, the chapter identifies two waves of criticism that were levelled against Global Britain: one dealing with the desirability of Global Britain, the other with its achievability, especially on trade, defence and security. Winston Churchill's three circles model provided an elegant account of Britain's supposedly unique world role after the Second World War. The chapter suggests that Brexit was the latest act in a long-running national drama in which proponents of 'limited liability' have fought for supremacy with exponents of the 'continental commitment'.