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Hague warns on Brexit impact for UK foreign influence, including protecting Falklands

Friday, July 7th 2017 - 06:25 UTC
Full article 53 comments
“Brexit will be damaging to our ability to work with other EU countries, obviously on foreign affairs and influence their outlook overall,” Hague told fellow peers. “Brexit will be damaging to our ability to work with other EU countries, obviously on foreign affairs and influence their outlook overall,” Hague told fellow peers.

Brexit will “undoubtedly” harm the UK’s ability to work with other EU countries on foreign issues and its influence in the world, warns former Conservative foreign affairs minister William Hague, including protection of the Falkland Islands, and ensuring solidarity among 28 countries.

 The ex-party leader told the House of Lord’s EU external affairs sub-committee said London might be advocating EU membership for countries in the Balkans while negotiating to leave the union.

“Brexit will be damaging to our ability to work with other EU countries, obviously on foreign affairs and influence their outlook overall,” he told fellow peers.

“There is no doubt we are a big player in the foreign affairs council, bigger than we are in the financial and economic affairs of the EU. It is also true that they will want to consult us, to temper the gloom a little bit.”

He argued that the UK should seek permanent membership of the EU’s Common Political Security Committee (CFSP), explaining that it was “very important to the UK” and might “mitigate the damage that will undoubtedly be caused”.

An important test would be whether London could lead action in trouble spots like Somalia, where he said the UK had coordinated military, diplomatic, aid and economic responses to Islamist extremism and piracy.

The CFSP “amplifies the UK’s weight in the world”, Hague said, by enabling it to lead a united response on a variety of challenges, like sanctions on Iran and taking measures to protect the Falkland Islands, making Argentina respect the “solidarity among 28 countries” in response to possible hostile action.

On a more positive note, the newly appointed justice secretary, David Lidington, has insisted that the challenges of Brexit would demonstrate that Britain’s top judges prove they were the best in the world.

He said the country’s departure would allow the legal profession to demonstrate why businesses should “choose the UK” for its legal services.

In a Mansion House speech Lidington said: “I want to seize the opportunity to project our English law, our courts, our judges, our legal services to the world and to new markets.”

Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legal systems from England and Wales.

“I want to see the government, our justice system and our legal services unite behind a common effort to harness and project to the world a strong and clear message about just how exceptional this country is when it comes to its justice system and legal services.

“The message will be choose the UK and you will get a global guarantee of judicial excellence and integrity.”

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  • Roger Lorton

    I doubt that French support in 1982 had much to do with the EU and it has long been rumoured that French engineers continued to assist Argentina throughout that period. There's a lot of nonsense talked regarding French help. You'll be telling me that they gave us the 'codes' for the missiles next.

    In reality the only assistance that the EU gave was in the application of sanctions against Argentina and reluctantly at that. The whining by both Ireland and Italy was appalling for supposed allies. Ireland was also a major pain in the rear at the UN in 1982, constantly threatening British diplomacy there.

    If you think we won in 1982 because of the EU then you seriously need to think again.

    I have it all here - (search on Ireland for example)

    More support in '65 wouldn't have had any effect on the current flights arrangements and it's just a little barmy to suggest that it would.

    Some of us are looking forward to exiting the EU, assuming it happens and fully recognising that there will always be implications for the future. There will be effects on all the BOT's too, not just Gibraltar and the Falklands but they were all British before we joined the Common Market and I have no doubt that they'll remain British long after.

    Here's to Brexit

    Jul 07th, 2017 - 03:12 pm +7
  • Roger Lorton


    What you think is based upon assumption, and what you know is very little. I only have a visitors visa to Thailand and the Thai authorities do not consider me to be a resident. The British authorities consider that my domicile is in the UK.

    But what has my location at any point in time got to do with me fighting the British cause? Am I any the less British?

    Not according to my passport.

    Jul 08th, 2017 - 05:38 am +6
  • The Voice

    Anybody who lives anywhere has a right to VOICE an opinion on anything. As for truth twisting - pot, kettle, black...? Sucking up to hostile powers who wish your country ill is far worse.

    Light bulb was always a disaster area.

    Jul 08th, 2017 - 09:02 am +6
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