In the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published in March 2021, the UK government set out four strategic objectives for ‘Global Britain’. A year later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the shift to a more divided world have put the vision of the UK as a ‘problem-solving and burden-sharing nation with global perspectives’ to an urgent and severe test.
This research paper finds that the UK has made clear contributions to its objectives of upholding the values and security of the liberal democracies. But it has undercut its commitments to support global resilience, and its international economic agenda remains very much a work in progress.
The government must now prioritize rebuilding its relationship with the EU; leverage the G7 to avoid being sidelined by closer US–EU cooperation; and give greater strategic purpose to its trade agenda. It also needs to follow through on its commitments to support the resilience of the international community, or it will fail to live up to its goal of launching a truly global Britain.
Publication of this paper marks the launch of Chatham House’s UK in the World project.