Brexit has lowered our global standing, warns former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers
Brexit has diminished Britain’s influence on the world, a former head of MI6 said yesterday. Sir John Sawers, who also served as an ambassador to the UN, urged MPs to face up to the “pretty stark reality” of life outside the bloc. “We do not want to go through a repeat of the 1970s where the UK went progressively downhill. We will need to turn it around. I am not sure how we are going to do it,” he said.
Also giving evidence to the foreign affairs committee, Lord Hannay of Chiswick, another former ambassador to the UN, said other nations smelt “blood in the water” as he discussed Britain’s defeat in elections to the International Court of Justice last month. The peer raised the prospect of the UK becoming isolated over the Falklands as it lost the “automatic” backing of other EU nations.
Sir John said: “We have to acknowledge that Brexit is damaging our economy. At the end of this process we will need to work out how to rebuild our economy and our influence in the world.” France, by contrast, had seen its influence increase. “[Theresa May] is not able to play the same international role as the French president has in the past six months. That is just a reality,” he said.