This week the Government will once again decide in a review of defence that the British Army is too big, it has also cut international aid, VSO is apparently at death’s door for lack of money and the UK’s plans to sharply increase R&D spending are not working. These are all things the UK needs to get right if it is to maintain even the semblance of being influential or important.
The Brexit fantasy combines brilliantly in the final story from the weekend. The government is being urged to permanently station a frigate in Australia as a “warning” to China. That is a warning to a country with a navy which is expanding so rapidly that it is building the equivalent of the whole French navy every three years. What possible difference would one frigate make, except to hack off Beijing? The country we apparently want a trade deal with.
Meanwhile the latest cunning plan is to teach the EU a lesson by not paying the £20 billion divorce bill both sides agreed on, which the ERG now calls “Danegeld”. Meanwhile the country is being taken to court by the EU for breaking the NIP, and the Government’s response is apparently to ask the US president to “tell” the EU and Ireland to go easy on the UK.
In a way much of this doesn’t matter as it is never going to happen but it makes the UK a laughing stock, and one too stupid to see it is being laughed at. This is not global Britain, it is fantasy island.